How to get a job in forensic science? Retrain

I have previously written about getting a career in forensic science (How to get a job in forensic science) because I am always being asked this very question.  I gave a lecture only last Thursday about forensic science in the UK and what a great place it is to get work experience, which is very …

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Why check an Expert's credentials?

An interesting article appeared in the Washington Post in September entitled Shoddy Forensic Science: fact & fiction.  As part of the lectures and presentations I give, I always mention why Experts should be instructed and how to tell that you have a genuine Expert.  The example I put up to explain why lawyers should check …

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A "weekend in Amsterdam" will take on a new meaning…

As soon as someone in the UK says they’re off for a weekend to Amsterdam, eyebrows go up because we all know what they’re up to – no, not necessarily to see the Ladies of the Night but off to get stoned in a coffee shop (let’s face it, they don’t usually move from the …

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A cautionary word on the meaning of "evidence"

When writing reports I am always very careful about using the word “evidence”.  A colleague once recounted a story to me about an experience he had in court in the early stages of his career.  He had used the word “evidence” in his report when talking about what he had found during his examinations at …

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Drug driving and impairment testing

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 …

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Another comment on court attendance….

Having thought about my earlier post regarding court attendance, I now remember an interesting exchange with a senior judge at a conference once, which might explain why Legal Services is looking in the wrong place for savings in the UK court system.  The exchange went something like this: Judge:  There is a real need to …

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The fun of attending court….

I see from the UK press that the UK government is looking to cap Legal Services funding for expert witnesses by allowing a maximum monetary limit per day for attendance at court plus a maximum hourly rate for different forensic disciplines for report preparation and the like.  It seems to me that the general effect …

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David Bain retrial, 2009

I get asked about this case all the time.  It was probably New Zealand’s biggest ever case in terms of media attention (more like frenzy) and overall cost.  It is also probably New Zealand’s most controversial case and people have an opinion before they even ask me about it.  It’s a bit like when a …

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Drug traces on banknotes: Scotland

During my time in England I had the pleasure of being involved with many cases involving drug traces on banknotes.  For those of you in countries with plastic money (such as NZ or Australia), those who live in countries with paper money have the joy of carrying around with them banknotes of which practically all …

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Cannabis case, South Wales

Forensic science always seems so glamorous on the TV.  I love my job but sometimes I have to wonder why I do it because it is so far from CSI.  I gave a talk to the Auckland Executive Club last week and I put up a photo of some fragments of cannabis resin, to provide …

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