Guilty until proven innocent

“A lack of accreditation of expert witnesses means that anyone with a scientific background and sufficient ‘brass neck’ could set themselves up as a forensic science expert and mislead the court“. So warns Lord Justice Leveson, an English Court of Appeal Judge. It has already happened: Gene Morrison. Originally jailed for 5 years various offences …

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Word-leading forensic science agency to close

One of the world’s leading forensic science agencies, the British Forensic Science Service (FSS), will close the remainder of its laboratories by 2012. To quote a recent article, “The FSS is a government-owned company … that sells its services to customers including police forces in England and Wales. The government has now promised to sell …

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Auckland District Court: a re-vamped winner

It’s been a while since I visited Auckland District Court. The desire to visit has not been strong because it was a dark and dingy place with a grubby, neglected feel to it. So, having briefly attended to meet a colleague in relation to an arson matter at the end of last week, I now …

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Blood alcohol 2nd sample – will it be lost?

Feeling suitably impressed with the facade, I attended at the Beehive yesterday to speak in front of the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee.  Apart from seeing a few familiar faces (from the TV, not that I knew in person), it was quite reminiscent of giving evidence in court except that after our statements, it …

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CSI infographic – be amazed! (or amused – your choice)

Here is an interesting CSI graphic from ForensicScience.net. It does a nice job of demonstrating the internationally-recognised phenomenon “the CSI Effect”, on which I have blogged and presented and generally griped for some time (see Part 3: CSI effect/forensic science jobs, The CSI Effect – it’s real and CSI effect: the speed and appliance of …

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Drugs, driving and saliva

After a brief airing on RadioLive this morning to talk about a recent press release regarding drug/drink driving statistics, I thought it pertinent to add a little something to clarify what I was saying (three minutes is not a long time to say what you need to say on an issue as big as this!). …

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To reduce or not reduce – that is the blood alcohol question

Several posts have got involved in the blood alcohol debate (examples being Blood alcohol, Categories of drunk and Wobbling into the road after a night at the pub….). Should NZ reduce the blood alcohol limit for driving a motor vehicle from 80 mg alc/100 ml blood to 50? The UK still has 80 in blood …

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Wobbling into the road after a night at the pub….

Once again, alcohol-related stories are all over the media (Drunk driver haunted by night of shame; Joyce to review drink-driving loophole; ‘Humiliated’ barrister to plead guilty to drink-driving; Car death: ‘Any other kid, you’d be in jail’).  All of these cases, and most of the alcohol-related cases that are reported in the media, contain stories …

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Last Chance to See…book review

Douglas Adams is one of my favourite authors.  I didn’t know he was also one of English actor/writer/comedian Stephen Fry‘s best friends (and I also didn’t know that Mr Fry has been an avid Apple Mac techno-chap for over 20 years). Douglas Adams (for those who may not somehow know) wrote the inordinately fabulous Hitch …

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Symbolic questions

I was watching Top Gear the other day and James May was driving the woman who was responsible for designing all of the British roadsigns back in the 1950s.  Practically all of the signs are still used today and, as a testament to how well they were designed, they haven’t dated.  The big thing about …

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