LORDS

Prosecution and defence lawyers questioned on use of forensic science

26 October 2018

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee questions a Chief Crown Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service as well as the Chair of the Criminal Bar Association on the UK’s use of forensic science in the criminal justice system. The Committee also questions leading academics on forensic science.

Purpose of session

The Committee explores with the witnesses the level of understanding of forensic science amongst lawyers, judges and juries, and how this understanding can be improved. The Committee also discusses the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with the increased evidence load that digital forensics generates.

Witnesses

Tuesday 30 October in Committee Room 4A, Palace of Westminster

At 3.25pm

  • Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Chris Henley QC, Chair, Criminal Bar Association
  • Abigail Bright, Junior Representative, Criminal Bar Association

At 4.25pm

  • Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement, Lancaster University
  • Professor Niamh Nic Daéid, Director of Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, University of Dundee

Possible questions

Questions likely to be covered in the first session include:

  • Is the Criminal Justice System being equipped with robust, accurate and transparent forensic science?
  • Is the current training available for lawyers and the judiciary in handling forensic science evidence is appropriate?
  • What role should the Forensic Science Regulator have?

Questions likely to be covered in the second session include:

  • What is the scientific evidence base for the use of forensic techniques in the reconstruction of crimes, and their investigation and prosecution?
  • Is the current market for forensic services in England and Wales sustainable?
  • What are the differences between the systems in England and Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Further information

Image: Ministry of Justice

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