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'Matters Arising' from casework>>
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Low Copy Number DNA >>
Comment on the case of Sean Hodgson >>
So DNA is objective? >>
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LCN controversy continues (March 2010) »
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The Forensic Institute provides specialist forensic scientific and medical expert witness services, and training in civil or criminal investigations and legal proceedings. We also provide a scientific consultancy service specializing in the solution of novel problems frequently found in industrial and commercial processes such as the identification of contaminants or unexpected material in goods or processes.
In addition to our core scientific staff based in Glasgow, an extensive network of experts and expert witnesses provide the continually expanding knowledge upon which The Institute is founded. Our work includes cases from UK ( Scotland, England & Wales, and Northern Ireland), USA (several in New York State), New Zealand, Australia, Egypt, and Cyprus and other projects in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Turkey.
Our aims are to;
To receive our regular e-newsletter, subscribe here. Our current (March 2014) Newsletter features our published paper on DNA transfer if criminal casework, the launch of our paternity testing and kinship service, and news of the forthcoming FORREST conference at Northumbria University.
From our challenges to the use of the Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA technique in the Omagh Bomb trial to successful shaken baby cases, we believe that the purpose of the defence expert is to identify any credible challenge to the evidence of the prosecution. Our casework has included terrorism, murder, attempted murder, kidnap, possession and supply of drugs, sexual assault including rape and historical abuse, and various road traffic offences. Techniques have included DNA profiling and statistics (including low copy number and low template DNA profiling), blood pattern analysis, CCTV analysis, telephone analysis, toxicology (post mortem and drink-driving), and verification of fingerprints.
We have been at the forefront of the challenges to the use of the LCN DNA technique internationally, including the Omagh Bomb trial [R v Hoey] and in the English Appeal Court case of Reed and in New York. We have consistently challenged in Court the abuse of the technique.
We have also highlighted problems on other areas of forensic science with our involvement in, for example, shaken baby cases (non-accidental head injury), the 'certainty' of fingerprints, and the 'science' of footwear mark evidence in R v T.
Our services include fingerprint assessment and fingerprinting, crime scene assessment, paternity or kinship testing, and workplace drug testing.
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To receive our regular e-newsletter, subscribe here.
And if you want to be more actively involved please join our free, public web forum to help us achieve our aim of better justice through better science. You are invited to join the FIRN Forum to learn from, initiate and contribute to the topics which will cover almost anything pertaining to the use of science in court. You can visit the FIRN Forum here.
This page was updated in February 2014.
March 2014 Newsletter>>
On the Dlugosz judgement about DNA without statistics>>
Research identifying problems with the verbal scale>>
DNA transfer: Review and implications for casework. Forensic Science International: Genetics 7 (2013) 434–443 >>
March 2013 Newsletter>>
Professor John Coggins OBE FRSE joins TFI Board>>
Legal Aid and inequality of arms in forensic casework (Journal of the Law Society of Scotland Online) >>
Barrister article on science and the law>>
An open letter to FSI on data disclosure>>
'Barrister' magazine article on expertise and experience >>