The impact of DNA evidence on the English criminal trial

Sallavaci, Oriola (2009) The impact of DNA evidence on the English criminal trial. In: SLSA annual conference, 7th -9th April 2009, Hosted by the Law School at De Montfort University, Leicester.. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


The purpose of this paper is to introduce this author‘s research in progress exploring the use of forensic DNA analysis as evidence for purposes of criminal trial with a view of identifying how the increasing use of scientific evidence is challenging the principles and values, features and procedures of the criminal trial. It questions how far the reality where complex scientific evidence is increasingly being used to aid fact-finding conforms to the theory of what the criminal trial is or ought to be. This research explores the main aspects of the evidentiary use of DNA. Reviewing the admissibility issues of the improperly obtained/retained DNA it questions where the criminal trial truly begins and considers the implications of investigative improprieties for the legitimacy of trial. Addressing the use of DNA from the perspective of the rules for the admissibility of scientific evidence at court it proposes inter alia that the current position of the English law is not satisfactory and that stricter standards for the admissibility of scientific evidence, especially novel forms of scientific evidence need be established. Further it reviews the presentation and interpretation of DNA considering its impact on the languages of the trial and on the role of the jury emphasising the need for balance between education and deference in the reception of the scientific evidence. It reviews the ability of DNA evidence to secure conviction beyond reasonable doubt and investigates whether there is need for changes in the evidentiary rules concerning corroboration. Finally it explores the post-conviction use of the DNA evidence and discusses how it challenges the ability of criminal trial to bring finality to the proceedings

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 10495
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Dr Oriola Sallavaci
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2013 11:00
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:26

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