The Committee examines forensic science and miscarriages of justice

13 November 2018

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee question police forces, Dr Julie Maxton CBE, the Centre for Criminal Appeals and the Criminal Cases Review Commission on the use of forensic science in the UK for the delivery of justice.

Purpose of session

In the first session, the witnesses will be asked about the balance between in-house forensics and the use of private forensic providers by the police. The Committee will ask what they perceive as the risks of a market approach for admissibility, reliability and credibility of forensic science evidence.

In the second evidence session the Committee will ask how issues around the disclosure of forensic evidence to the defence affects the delivery of justice and what is being done to address this. They will also explore the current initiatives to increase scientific understanding within the criminal justice system.


Tuesday 13 November in Committee Room 4A, Palace of Westminster

At 3.25pm

  • Danyela Kellett, Forensic Services Manager, Lancashire Constabulary
  • Carolyn Lovell, Head of Operations (Crime Scene Investigation), Hampshire Constabulary
  • David Tucker, Faculty Lead, College of Policing

At 4.25pm

  • Dr Julie Maxton CBE, Executive Director, Royal Society
  • Andrew Rennison, Commissioner, Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC)
  • Emily Bolton, Founder and Legal Director, Centre for Criminal Appeals

Possible questions

  • Where are the gaps in research and understanding of forensic science?
  • Are there current or anticipated skills gaps in Forensic Science?
  • How are relationships between forensic practitioners, investigating police officers and the CPS maintained?
  • Who should be responsible and accountable for ensuring high quality research in forensic science that supports high quality delivery of forensic science to the police and the courts?
  • Does the Criminal Justice System have the capacity to deal with the increased evidence load that digital evidence generates?
  • What powers should the Forensic Science Regulator have and how well does the current system of accreditation work?

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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