Legal Aid costs and forensic science: the cost of justice?

NZ has spent NZ$1 billion dollars on Legal Aid in the last 12 years, since 2000.  So it is reported: The cost of justice: legal aid bill $1 billion . The five most expensive cases involved individuals found not guilty or whose cases were discharged. Based on my experience, it costs money to investigate a …

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ABC. Assume nothing. Believe nobody. Check everything.

ABC. Assume nothing. Believe nobody. Check everything.  This is the mantra of British crime scene manager John Cockram.  That is a truly excellent mantra and pretty much covers all you need to know about forensic science.  His commentary on crime scene examination is fabulous reading in The Guardian’s The real CSI: what happens at a …

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Forensic science 360 degree crime scene mapping

Revolutionising crime scene investigation seems to be the net result of the 360-degree crime scene mapping developed and used by ESR Forensic, as seen on TV: TV3 News. I’ve seen this technology at work and it does seem to do a great job of recording the scene. As with all new technologies though we need …

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Tearing knickers and why it needs to be done

Those leaders in science blogging and the founders of the the Ig Nobel Prize at improbable.com blogged last week about new research from Otago University with a blog entitled A new twist in forensic knicker-testing. It’s a brief (no pun actually intended) post that states an NZ study “tested the tearing of knickers, and found …

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International Justice Conference – lessons learned? Probably not yet but it’s a start

I arrive in Perth in 40 degree heat with a fierce wind whipping across the Hertz car park and the promise that it’ll be 45 by Sunday. I’m well and truly heated through by the time I get to my tiny hire car. I have no idea what is ahead of me for the next …

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International Justice Conference: let’s see how it goes….

Many people will have watched 60 Minutes’ interview with David Bain on Sunday.  This weekend he gives his first public presentation at The International Justice Conference and I will be there to hear it and all the others. Mr Bain will be amongst other people who have stories to tell about cases that have gone …

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Sexual assault prosecution: where’s the science fit in?

The NZ Law Commission this week has opened consultation on Alternative Trial Processes including potential changes in the way sexual assault cases are prosecuted. In the introduction to the consultation paper it states: The limitations of the adversarial system in general are particularly profound in cases of sexual violence. The adversarial trial model is ill-suited …

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Dead man sued because his flying body parts hit a passer-by..and other stories (only in the USA)

No matter what is happening in the NZ legal system, we don’t have the same sorts of issues as the Americans seem to have.  This is from FindLaw. 5. Tourist Sues Hooker for Leaving ½ Hour Early College student Hubert Blackman was in Las Vegas. He decided to party it up by ordering a “stripper” …

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New drug driving campaign

After my spectacular unavailability to be able to appear on TV today about the new drug driving campaign, I thought I would add my general comments here. There is no doubt that drug driving is a problem in New Zealand, as it is in other countries. Alcohol is treated differently under the law because it …

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Body on the Queen’s estate – actors comment on forensic science

I have to admit to having been so desperate for something to watch on TV a couple of nights ago that I ended up watching Entertainment Tonight – you know, that American gossip programme about famous people, many of whom I have never heard or seen before (I accept that I am out of touch …

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