Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Identification by dog sniff….

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Excuse my incredulity but I couldn’t believe it when I read this article.  I am amazed that this could ever be used as part of a court case – does it meet either the Daubert or Frye tests (I admit I don’t know which, if either, applies in Texas but all the same, there must (read more)

Christchurch's "House of Horrors"

Monday, September 21st, 2009

For those outside New Zealand who aren’t aware, two bodies were found beneath the floor of a house two weeks ago in Christchurch, South Island.  They were the bodies of a woman who had been missing for a year and the body of the wife of the man who lived in the house – this (read more)

Bitemark evidence – another example of the need for a database

Friday, September 18th, 2009

The following article appeared in Science Daily on 17 September 2009.  It seems that this field of expertise, bitemarks, has fallen foul of the usual criticisms of unusual evidence types – the lack of an adequate, representative database for interpretation of information in a given case.  Without such a database there is no real way (read more)

Forensic science cost-cutting could cause errors, say experts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

This is an article from the Guardian, 13 September 2009.  It basically outlines what has happened in England & Wales and what we, here in New Zealand, should be glad has not happened – yet.  Although I am sure some would argue that there is a need for the stranglehold of ESR (the main provider (read more)

Roadside drug testing; drug driving

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

One of my earlier posts commented on drug driving, the recent law changes in New Zealand and the new ad campaign in England & Wales.  The answer that everyone would like (apart from the people who actually take the drugs) is a roadside device that can screen, say, saliva for the presence of drugs – (read more)

Drug driving and impairment testing

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Drug driving is illegal in many countries including New Zealand and the UK.  New Zealand has recently (June 2009) changed the law in order to increase the rate of successful prosecutions .  These changes, which come into force in December 2009, include giving the Police the power to conduct roadside impairment tests.  Such tests were (read more)

Shoddy forensic science and bogus forensic scientists

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I noted this very interesting article in the Washington Post.  There was a significant case in England a few years ago when exactly the sort of dodgy forensic scientist to which this article refers was convicted of, basically, being a conman.  Details of that are in this blog’s post entitled “Why to check an Expert’s (read more)

England, Wales, Bain, Weatherston : televising of court proceedings

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

The first Justices of the Supreme Court, who currently hear appeals in Parliament, will take up their new posts in October 2009, with Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers becoming the first President of the Supreme Court.   An interesting aspect is that the new court  will allow its proceedings to be televised when they are asked (read more)

England & Wales Bar response, Legal Aid reform

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Bar Council statement in response to MoJ consultation on Legal Aid funding reforms – England & Wales 20 August 2009 Desmond Browne QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, commenting on the publication today of the Ministry of Justice consultation ‘Legal Aid: Funding Reforms’ said: ‘It is a total misuse of language for Lord Bach to (read more)

Legal Aid reform

Monday, September 7th, 2009

As in New Zealand, the English have just undertaken a review of the Legal Aid system.  Of particular note for Expert Witnesses in NZ and England is the final paragraph of the summary below, which states : “…the Legal Services Commission will be asked to consider changes to payments made to experts in both criminal (read more)

Page 14 of 15« First...1112131415