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Title: Crime scene investigation : the importance of the revolution in science and investigative techniques to solve crime and the role of the forensic experts
Authors: Scerri Ferrante, Juliana (2009)
Keywords: Criminal investigation
Forensic sciences
Crime scenes
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Scerri Ferrante, J. (2009). Crime scene investigation : the importance of the revolution in science and investigative techniques to solve crime and the role of the forensic experts (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Forensic science is a vital instrument for the detection and deterrence of crime and the course of justice. Forensic science is not only an extension to the Courts of Law, but it is the reason for conviction or acquittal, therefore justice. One can say that forensic science is the application of scientific knowledge to solve legal problems. It is however a fact that forensic evidence starts at the scene of crime, and if evidence is missed or incorrectly handled at the scene, no amount of laboratory analysis or post scene would be able to rectify the problem and the scene usually cannot be re-visited to have another attempt at obtaining additional evidence. Such evidence can not only be thus destructed but also contaminated, therefore not allowing it to be admissible in court. Thus, not only are scientific techniques important, but the role of experts is crucial, as they are the ones who collect and preserve the evidence, ultimately bringing it to court. The forensic expert's work is commonly orientated to the production of information that may be used as evidence in a criminal trial. The role of experts has evolved, connecting science to the courts, and by providing their opinions, they put great weight on the determination of the acquittal or conviction of the accused brought before the court. Forensic science is in fact linked to the court by the forensic expert. The application of new technology together with special training and experience will lead to a selection of the most informative evidence in terms of interpretation of the scene. There are various scientific and investigative techniques which have also evolved through time in such a process. However, the experts' assistance at the scene is very valuable and often they are, in my opinion, the fulcrum of an investigation, and of great influence on who is adjudicating, thus affecting the freedom or imprisonment sentence of the accused brought before the court. Thus, although techniques advance, the role of the expert, whether part of the police force or not, is becoming even more important in the criminal procedure. What the expert declares becomes increasingly more important to the outcome of the case. Therefore, his role is of outmost importance for justice to be carried out. For this reason, he must be diligent, well qualified, and well-trained and fully understand his duty towards society. Moreover his evidence is part of the law of evidence and therefore subject to scrutiny regarding reliability, relevance and admissibility The courts have for a long time discussed to reliability and admissibility of expert evidence, finally accepting it although falling foul of the rules of evidence hearsay and opinion evidence, the relationship of which will be discussed in this dissertation. Expert Evidence is in fact, critical to the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.
Description: LL.D.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacLaw - 1958-2009

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