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Forensic Evidence

NZ $30.00
Author(s): Craig Ruane
Published: 2 June, 1998
Pages: 58



One of the problems facing criminal defence lawyers is the disparity in resources between prosecution and defence. The prosecution will normally have the resources of the State behind it, whilst the defence will often be working at a disadvantage, both financially and with availability to expertise.

This is particularly so where scientific evidence is concerned. The majority of forensic scientists are employed by the police or other law enforcement agencies, or by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), the successor to the DSIR. As one of the common prerequisites for qualification as an expert is experience, those who are employed by the prosecution agencies will generally have far more practical experience than those outside the prosecution system.

Except in those rare cases where a suspect will seek legal advice at an early stage, most defence lawyers will be faced with an accused who has already been charged with an offence and will not have the opportunity of examining, first hand, the evidence which the prosecution proposes to use. By the time the defence lawyer gets to the file, much of the evidence has been collected and is well on the way to be being analysed

The purpose of this seminar is to provide part of the foundation upon which the theory of the case can be erected. Those attending the seminar will not become forensic scientists but will, I trust, be given the tools with which they can examine the evidence to be tendered by forensic scientists, to consider its importance and implications, and the resources which will enable counsel to deal effectively with forensic scientific evidence.


Content outline

  • Blood - identification and characterisation
  • Blood splatter and blood stains
  • Firearms
  • Fingerprints
  • Interpretation of scientific evidence
  • Sources
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