Crown Prosecution Service and Criminal Bar Association to be questioned on use of forensic science by Lords

26 October 2018


On Tuesday 30th October the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee will question 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 will also be questioning leading academics on forensic science.

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

The evidence session will begin at 3:30pm in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords. Giving evidence will be:

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

Other questions the Committee are likely to ask 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?

Giving evidence to the Committee at 4.30pm will be:

  • 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

Questions the Committee are likely to ask 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?

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