What can be learnt about the approach to Forensic Science in other jurisdictions? Lords to hear evidence

On Tuesday 15th January the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee will continue to hear evidence about the use of forensic science in courts in England and Wales and its contribution to the delivery of justice.

The Committee will question Dr Sheila Willis, former Director-General of Forensic Science Ireland, the national forensic laboratory of the Republic of Ireland. Dr Willis is currently a guest researcher at the  United States of America’s National Institute of Standards Technology.

The Committee will ask what structures are in place in the Republic of Ireland, the U.S. and other countries that enable the most needed research in forensic science. The Committee will also explore approaches that successfully provide a current source of responsive, independent, balanced and accessible analysis of emerging science and technology to those involved in criminal investigations.

The Session will begin at 3:25pm in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords. Giving evidence will be:

  • Dr Sheila Willis, Guest Researcher, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • Where are the gaps in forensic science research and in the understanding of forensic science evidence given your experiences in various jurisdictions?
  • The Committee has heard in written and oral evidence about the value of a ‘sterile corridor’ between investigators and the delivery of forensic science. To what degree is this achieved in other jurisdictions and in your view what challenges does having a separation of this nature create, and address?
  • Are they any lessons from the way the forensic science market operates in other jurisdictions that can learned for England and Wales?

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