In this paper, published in the September 2015 issue of the NSW Law Society Journal, barrister Maeve Curry talks about challenging forensic science in the court. In particular, she references a case in which Independent Forensic Services assisted on.
This article was written by Independent Forensic Services following requests from legal practitioners for a simple ‘go to’ guide.
Australian based Forensic Science organisations:
The Australian and New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) was formed in 1971 and brings together scientists, police, criminalists, pathologists, and members of the legal profession actively involved with the forensic sciences. The Society’s objectives are to enhance the quality of forensic science by providing symposia, lectures, discussions and demonstrations encompassing the various disciplines within the science.
The Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) is a body dedicated to the advancement of Forensic Sciences. The Academy is unique in bringing together persons of professional standing from the legal, medical and scientific professions whom have contributed to the advancement or practice of forensic science. The Academy hold meetings and lectures throughout the year, with many of these open to non-members.
The National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS) aims to facilitate continuous improvement in the forensic sciences and to promote awareness in the wider community through strategic partnerships. Working with the States and Territories Service Providers, NIFS aims to: Sponsor and support research in forensic science; assist with the development and co-ordination of forensic science between jurisdictions; facilitate information exchange between relevant parties; and co-ordinate the delivery of relevant forensic science quality assurance programs.
The Sydney Forensic Medicine and Science Network provides resources for highlighting a range of activities in forensic medicine and science leading to the development of new interactions and activities.
Better research, more opportunities for learning and greater academic input in clinical service delivery will ensure the best people want to be in forensic medicine and science.
The International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) aims to promote scientific knowledge in the field of genetic markers as applied to forensic science. The society hold regular meetings of either regional or international nature, and publish a journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. ISFG hold a biannual congress, with the 2013 congress being held in Melbourne. The 2015 congress will be held in Krakow.
The International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) is an organisation of forensic experts specialising in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis. The IABPA was formed in 1983, with the following objectives: encourage and promote the science of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; standardise the scientific techniques of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; promote education and encourage research in the discipline of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis; and provide members with up to date resources including the latest discoveries and developments in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.
STRmix™ software is now the preferred tool for complex mixed DNA profile evaluation and is used throughout Australia and New Zealand. Independent Forensic Services now has the ability to access this software on a case by case basis in order to provide a comprehensive independent review of the DNA evidence.
Further information on the STRmix™software can be found here: http://strmix.esr.cri.nz/
With our experience in serious criminal matters, we have gained a large number of contacts in the field – and we will always be happy to recommend other experts for cases that are outside of our expertise. However, we have included the details of just a couple of well established practices below:
Based in the Northern Territory, but accepting work from across the country, Top End Forensic Services can provide expert opinion on trace evidence cases including hairs, fibres, fire debris & ignitable liquids, miscellaneous, unknowns, paint, glass, globes, textile damage, polymers and plastics.
FDS’s trained and experienced professionals use rigorous scientific analysis and examination techniques to establish the validity of documents and to detect evidence of tampering or handling of documents and other items. The company employ a number of experts in the field, and conduct work across Australia as well as internationally.
Forensic Partners (FPS) specialises in providing expert evidence in the criminal jurisdiction. It provides a medico-legal evidence solution by matching expertise with the needs of clients, primarily in the areas of forensic medicine and forensic pathology.