New Honorary Fellow for the Society
The Forensic Science Society is pleased to announce the award of Honorary Fellowship to Ms Lynda La Plante, CBE. Ms La Plante, well known author and screenwriter whose work includes the Prime Suspect series, has been a supporter of the Society for a number of years.
Dr Ann Priston, the Society's President said " There are many
programmes focussing on forensic science at the moment, some of them bordering on pure fiction. Lynda brings a level of realism and understanding to her writing that is refreshing and exciting and it is an absolute pleasure to make this award ".
Interview with the President...F is for Forensics...
The Society gets its first Patron
The Forensic Science Society is delighted to announce that the High Court Judge, The Honourable Sir Nigel Sweeney has accepted an invitation to become its first Patron.
Since being called to the bar in 1976 Sir Nigel has specialised in forensic science issues across the board from fibres, footwear and tool marks to DNA, explosive traces and isotope geochemistry. He was appointed to the High Court in September 2008 and continues to be involved in major cases that involve forensic science issues.
In accepting Sir Nigel said "I am honoured to be the first Patron of the Society, and look forward to playing a part in ensuring its continued status and success"
We look forward to a long and successful association.
Supporting forensic science research in the UK
As part of its ongoing commitment to support recommendations of the Silverman report and to ensure that research in forensic science is properly represented and supported in the UK, the Forensic Science Society worked with Research Councils UK (RCUK) to identify experts from across the forensic science arena. A list of referees to evaluate research proposals has now been compiled by RCUK.
For more information please visit the RCUK website at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2012news/Pages/120914.aspx
FSSoc commended in House of Lords report
The recently published report by the House of Lords into STEM education in the UK has raised a number of pertinent points it believes need addressing if the Government are to meet its objectives to drive economic growth.
One of the key areas addressed by the report was accreditation of higher education courses. The committee welcomed the FSSoc programme of accreditation of forensic science courses and pointed out that a key benefit of accreditation is that it is "informed by the needs of the employers" and "independent".
The report went further to suggest many employers saw the importance of accreditation in driving quality above that provided by the QAA and recommended the Government encourages professional bodies to take more of a role in accrediting courses.
A precis is availble, please click here.
For full details of the report visit: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/science-and-technology-committee/news/stem-report-published/
Special Interest Group in Forensic Science
As part of the continuing support for the R&D agenda within Forensic Science
the Technology Strategy Board’s directors have approved the setting up of the Forensic Science Special Interest Group. The Group will be officially launched at the Research and Development Conference being facilitated by the Forensic Science Society in collaboration with the Fingerprint Society, on 9 November at Warwick University.
Brian Rankin, Immediate Past President of the Society, representing the broad community and supported by an Advisory Group of Professor Robin Braithwaite, Department of Forensic Science and Drug Control Centre Kings College London; Dr Brian McKeown, Chief Scientist LGC; Jane Maclean, Consultant Forensic Scientist, Metropolitan Police Service; Professor David Russell, Head of School, University of East Anglia Department of Chemistry; Dr Gill Tully, Head of Research and Development, FSS and Duncan Woods, Keith Borer Consultants, has agreed to sit on the group and to provide regular updates
Breaking News - Forensic Science Society Launches Insurance Scheme
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Jones vs Kaney removed the immunity from prosecution previously enjoyed by expert witnesses.
The result of this ruling is that Forensic Scientists can be made personally liable for the work they undertake, including any expert testimony given in court.
In response, FSSoc has acted swiftly to protect members from this new exposure and consulted with scheme insurance specialists The Insurance Partnership to devise a member insurance scheme. The scheme was recently launched at the Autumn Conference and is the only dedicated insurance scheme for Forensic Scientists in the UK.
For further information click here.
Science & Technology Select Committee's Report on Research & Development in Forensic Science: a Review
Precis of the Law Commission's Recommendations to Parliament
In March this year (2011) the Law Commission published its final recommendations for reform of the rules governing expert evidence in criminal proceedings, including the introduction of a new reliability-based admissibility test for expert opinion evidence.
For a precis of the Law Commission's Recommdations to Parliament click here for document download
Forensic Science Service Closure
The Forensic Science Society (FSSoc) welcomes the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the closure of the FSS. The BBC has reported the terms of reference for the inquiry on its Science and Environment website as follows:
• What will be the impact of the closure of the FSS on forensic science and on the future development of forensic science in the UK?
• What will be the implications of the closure on the quality and impartiality of forensic evidence used in the criminal justice system?
• What is the financial position of the Forensic Science Service?
• What is the state of, and prospects for, the forensics market in the UK? Specifically whether the private sector can carry out the work currently done by the FSS. The volume and nature of the forensic work carried out by police forces will also be examined in this light.
• What are the alternatives to winding down the Forensic Science Service?
• So far as they are known, are the arrangements for closing down the FSS, making staff redundant and selling its assets adequate?
The Forensic Science Society will be making a submission to the Committee on those points from the list above on which it is fully able to comment.
A member of FSS staff has contacted the Society to ask that members are made aware of the petition to save the FSS from closure. This can be accessed by clicking here
CPS Announcement on R v T
The Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed the Court of Appeal judgment in the Case of R v T
Click here for document download
Court of Appeal Judgement
On 26th October 2010, in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justices Beatson and Kitchen delivered their judgement following an appeal against a conviction for murder
Click here to read more