Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice

The Rhetoric Meets The Reality

Overview

Miscarriages of justice have been the focus of judicial and public inquiries in Britain, Canada, and Australia. The objective of Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice is to make clear that, despite the rules laid down by statutes and decided cases to ensure that criminal trials are properly conducted, there are many instances where those rules have not been properly applied. In all three jurisdictions, there have been cases in which investigations have fundamentally miscarried and where expert witnesses have given evidence that has been either fraudulent or wrong. The book reviews how these problem cases are dealt with, and the marked differences between the jurisdictions in the procedures available to identify possible errors. The authors recommend ways to narrow the gap between the rhetoric of impartial forensic science and prosecutions and the re­ality of a growing number of recognized miscarriages of justice, emphasizing that both forensic science and the legal system must change and seek to better understand each other.

Reviews

"Comprehensive and groundbreaking… [A] masterly text which is certain to quickly become the primary reference point on the topic. "

T.F. Percy Q.C., Wolff Chambers, Perth, Western Australia

"In this impressive work, the experiences of Britain, Canada, and Australia are collected, compared, and analyzed by these eminently qualified experts. While the similarities are striking, the differences provide the authors with the opportunity to elucidate thoughtful recommendations that should commend themselves to policy makers in all three jurisdictions. Indeed, all who are involved in the criminal justice system and the constant need to perfect it will profit from this book."

Hon. Justice Stephen T. Goudge, Justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: Overview of the Book

Part One: The Rhetoric: Guiding Principles
Chapter 2: Prosecutors and Expert Witnesses
Chapter 3: Law on Miscarriages of Justice: Britain
Chapter 4: Law on Miscarriages of Justice: Canada
Chapter 5: Law on Miscarriages of Justice: Australia
Chapter 6: Fraud in Criminal Proceedings

Part Two: The Reality
Chapter 7: Investigations and Prosecutions
Chapter 8: Forensic Science Issues
Chapter 9: Forensic Pathology Issues

Part Three: Responses to Miscarriages of Justice
Chapter 10: Error Correction and Systemic Reform
Chapter 11: Improving Forensic Science
Chapter 12: Recommendations to Bring the Reality Closer to the Rhetoric

Table of Cases
Index
About the Authors

Of interest...