Forensic Hair Analysis – does it get to the root of the problem?

Hair analysis is often referred to as hair follicle testing. It is commonly used in Family court matters to assess whether or not parents or caregivers who want access to children are drug-free. The process involves collection of a sample of hair (usually from the crown of the head but other areas are possible) by …

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Of the FBI and ESR: what can we expect forensic science to deliver?

I haven’t written a blog post for a loooong time.  That’s because in the last year or so I have written another book (Forensic Science and the law: a Guide for Police, Lawyers and Expert Witnesses – the first book of its kind in New Zealand) and have been involved in some high-profile cases including …

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Prosecuting sexual assault cases – new approach?

When Judith Collins was Minister for Justice she suspended Law Commission work on alternative models for prosecuting criminal cases.   The Law Commission had originally been asked to consider alternative models by the earlier Justice Minister, Simon Power.  A paper was released in February 2012 entitled “Alternative Pre-trial and Trial Processes: Possible Reforms” – so a …

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Of zombies and children

“ ’Scuse me, but do dead bodies really look like zombies?”  As questions go at the end of a presentation, this one took me by surprise – but I guess it shouldn’t have done so, given that I was speaking to about 150 primary, intermediate and high school gifted children.  With hindsight, it’s exactly what …

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