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Oscar Pistorius, CSI Work and Forensic Evidence in NZ

Oscar Pistorius, CSI Work and The State of Forensic Evidence in New Zealand

LawFuel.co.nz - The Oscar Pistorius trial in South Africa has once again focused attention upon the vital role played by forensics, and the expert witnesses who present often complex forensic evidence.

There has also been increased international attention placed upon the manner in which forensic experts should provide evidence and the standards to which they should adhere.

LawFuel, the NZ law news site has an interview with one of New Zealand's leading forensice experts, Dr Anna Sandiford of Forensic Associates who has provided forensic evidence in some of New Zealand's most significant, recent criminal cases, including the murders of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe, the Auckland Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA killings, the Kahui twins case, the 2009 David Bain retrial, the review into the murder of Susan Burdett and Teina Pora’s related conviction and the 2015 retrial of Mark Lundy.

Dr Sandiford spoke to LawFuel about how the use of forensic science has changed and some of the impact it has had in the way in which criminal cases are dealt with here

She refers to the work done overseas developing frameworks for expert evidence, such as the Criminal and Civil Procedure Rules in England and Wales and noting that the 2009 study undertaken by the American National Academy of Sciences (NAS) into forensic science has had a "significant impact on expert witnesses who are aware of the report."

"Unfortunately in New Zealand we may be alittle behind the ball in that regard as not many lawyers are aware of the impacts of the NAS report.The NAS report conducted exhaustive researchand found that some conclusions drawn by forensic experts were not always reliable due to a variety of factors, including a paucity of scientific research to confirm the validity and reliability of forensic disciplines that could lead to proper measures as to the conclusions drawn by forensic experts.

The NAS report also noted the lack of research into new technology and into programmes relating to human observer bias and sources of human error in forensic examinations.

Read the fascinating story about the evolving development in the world of forensics in New Zealand. See the story at the link here: http://www.lawfuel.co.nz/news/1292/csi-the-pistorius-case-and-how-new-zealand-forensic-scientists-operate

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