Download Fifty Years of Forensic Science: A Commentary by Dr. Niamh Nic Daeid PDF

By Dr. Niamh Nic Daeid

Over the past part century, the technology and perform of forensic technology has passed through dramatic adjustments. because the early Nineteen Sixties the technological advancements and their program to forensic technology were titanic. not just that, the appliance of technology inside a felony context and framework has constructed significantly, as has the evaluate of the analytical effects acquired. This precise textual content appears to be like on the adjustments and demanding situations inside of forensic technological know-how during the last fifty years via a continuing diary of improvement witnessed by means of the editorials and correct correspondence added throughout the united kingdom Forensic technological know-how Societies’ magazine Science and Justice (formally the Journal of the Forensic technological know-how Society).

The editorials are divided into sections on the subject of the advancements of forensic perform, the development of technology, schooling, criminal facets, forensic technology and medication, the overseas measurement of forensic technological know-how and the translation and assessment of facts. The textual content and primary sections are set in context via an introductory bankruptcy written by means of Professor Brian Caddy studying the way forward for forensic science.

A key textual content that strains the historic improvement of forensic technology via reflective editorials released within the journal Science and Justice, and the Journal of the Forensic Science Society

Includes introductory bankruptcy via Professor Brian Caddy

Divided into themed sections to mirror present observation and debate

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Extra resources for Fifty Years of Forensic Science: A Commentary

Sample text

Resolution of these difficulties requires that forensic scientists speak and others hear, but because forensic science is almost exclusively provided from government or quasi-government departments, then the ability to speak is restricted, as will be the willingness of others to hear. Some efforts have been made to redress the balance; for example, research papers from forensic science laboratories are published in the more general scientific literature in addition to specialist journals. The health of forensic science needs more than that to sustain it.

If it is not seen to be vigilant in ensuring that it gets such a standard, the disservice it does to forensic science would be matched only by the disservice it does to itself and the cause of justice. It is not inconceivable that the court’s determination to prevent the conviction of the innocent could be foiled by an incompetent defence expert. It could be argued that the court is not the best qualified to judge such competence. The best judges are surely forensic scientists who should, therefore, be more involved in judging the competence of expert witnesses, just as, for instance, Law Societies judge and control the competence of solicitors.

Another Antipodean experience is Chamberlain, where the (majority) assertion of the High Court that the very existence of a defence scientist who honestly held opposing views to the prosecution forensic scientist is in itself sufficient cause to establish reasonable doubt over scientific evidence – let’s not bother about trying to determine where the truth may lie. This decision is a lamentable act of judicial cowardice, allowing the defence to escape its obligation of truly testing the prosecution science, and the court to escape its duty of weighing the merits of each and the credibility of the witnesses.

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