Forensic science, an enabler or dis-enabler for criminal investigation?

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27 Citations (Scopus)


It would be hard to imagine any significant criminal investigation today to which some aspect of forensic science did not contribute. But does this mean forensic science is used effectively in the broader justice system? Media headlines abound with criticisms of forensic work delaying the justice process. DNA is often held up as the gold standard to which other aspects of forensic science should aspire. The recently released US National Academies Report, Strengthening forensic science in the US: a path forward(1), raised significant concerns about the knowledge base and practice of forensic science, at least as it is conducted in the US. So where does the truth lie? Is forensic science robust and reliable? Is forensic science effective and/or efficient in support of criminal investigation? This article explores these issues and offers some thoughts for the forensic profession but also challenges the justice system community to develop a more collegiate approach to the use of forensic science to improve its efficiency in supporting the criminal justice system
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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