Legal aid cuts leave family courts in chaos, experts say – The Guardian

‘Cuts in legal aid are creating chaos in the family courts, according to legal experts, who warn that the resulting delays are having a serious impact on the children of warring parents.’

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The Guardian, 29th March 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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From “Shaken Baby Syndrome” to “Non-Accidental Head Injury” – The Continuing Research and the Law – Family Law Week

‘David Bedingfield of 4 Paper Buildings charts the recent history of scientific research into serious non-accidental head injuries suffered by babies and the response of the family and criminal courts in England and Wales.’

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Family Law week, 11th March 2014

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

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Man wrongly convicted of sexual assault is freed after 17 years in jail – The Guardian

‘A man who spent 17 years behind bars after being wrongly convicted of a sexual assault has been freed by the court of appeal after DNA evidence pointed to another man as the perpetrator.’

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The Guardian, 13th December 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Identical twins need never be tried for same crime after DNA breakthrough – Daily Telegraph

Posted December 12th, 2013 in DNA, families, forensic science, news by sally

‘Cases of identical twins being tried for the same crime may never happen again after a scientific breakthrough found there are subtle differences in their DNA.’

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Daily Telegraph, 11th December 2013

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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Consultation on new powers for the Forensic Science Regulator – Home Office

Posted November 8th, 2013 in codes of practice, consultations, forensic science by tracey

“A consultation on strengthening the powers of the Forensic Science Regulator has been launched today.”

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Home Office, 8th November 2013

Source: www.gov.uk/home-office

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More than a slip ‘twixt cup and lip – UK Human Rights Blog

“Technical evidence can sometimes be crucial to judicial decisions and this case shows how dramatic the consequences are for a family if evidence is unreliable. If the respondent in this case had not put probity before its commercial interests, a mother would have been deprived of the care of her child. Hence the importance of publishing the judgment.”

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UK Human Rights Blog, 25th October 2013

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Surprise bid to put Shrien Dewani on trial in Britain – The Guardian

“Lawyers for Shrien Dewani, the honeymoon murder suspect, are to ask British prosecutors to consider bringing a case against him in a dramatic attempt to avoid a trial in South Africa.”

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The Guardian, 21st September 2013

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Robbing Peter to Profit Paul – CrimeLine

Posted September 9th, 2013 in contracting out, costs, evidence, forensic science, legal aid, news, police by tracey

“In December 2010 the government announced plans to close the Forensic Science Service (FSS). The FSS was the primary source of forensic expertise to prosecution authorities, and a major provider of expertise to defence lawyers – demonstrating a world class position as provider of impartial evidence to the criminal justice system. Whilst at the time of closure there was already an increasing move to outsourcing services to private forensic providers, the bulk of market share was taken by the FSS, meaning that private providers had little commercial clout. Since the demise of the FSS the position has shifted and power is split between the buyers of services (primarily the police) and the private providers. One matter of grave concern at the moment is in relation to accessing forensic material.”

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CrimeLine, 9th September 2013

Source: www.crimeline.info

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Forensics upheaval ‘threat to justice’, MPs warn – BBC News

Posted July 25th, 2013 in crime, forensic science, news, reports, select committees by tracey

“Major crimes could go unsolved unless the government does more to support forensic science, MPs have warned.”

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BBC News, 25th July 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Man sues over forensics live bullet conviction mix-up – BBC News

Posted June 7th, 2013 in evidence, firearms, forensic science, human rights, negligence, news by tracey

“A man wrongfully convicted of possessing ammunition after forensics staff mixed
up his £3 keyring and a live bullet is suing the government.”

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BBC News, 7th June 2013

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Brain training: how can experts ensure justice is unbiased? – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted May 22nd, 2013 in bias, expert witnesses, forensic science, news by sally

“In an ideal world, experts would be brought into a case to help ascertain what has happened, use objective instruments that quantify and interpret the evidence, and provide the court with an unbiased view. However, the reality is that often experts are recruited to help make a case for an existing theory of what has happened, and they rely on subjective judgments and interpretations. Can we expect experts to be objective? Is it realistic that without specific cognitive measures experts can be impartial?”

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 21st May 2013

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Rape accused was victim of forensics error, regulator finds – The Guardian

Posted October 2nd, 2012 in forensic science, mistake, news, rape by sally

“A man who was wrongly charged with rape was the ‘innocent victim of an avoidable contamination’ at a private forensics laboratory, an official report concludes.”

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The Guardian, 1st October 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Leicester kebab shop fire pair jailed for manslaughter – BBC News

Posted September 27th, 2012 in arson, forensic science, fraud, homicide, insurance, news, sentencing by sally

“A man and a woman from Birmingham have been found guilty of manslaughter after a 40-year-old Leicester man died following an explosion at a kebab shop.”

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BBC News, 26th September 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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London bomb plotters launch appeal over ‘flawed’ forensic evidence – The Guardian

Posted September 20th, 2012 in abuse of process, appeals, evidence, forensic science, news, terrorism by sally

“Four of the terrorists convicted for the 21 July 2005 bomb plot will launch an attempt to have their sentences quashed following claims by a former senior government scientist that key forensic evidence used to jail the attackers was flawed.”

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The Guardian, 19th September 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Justice can’t be treated as a business enterprise – The Guardian

“The Freddy Patel case shows how market forces inevitably lead to creeping deregulation if applied to the legal system.”

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The Guardian, 29th August 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Closure of forensic archive a ‘shambles’, experts warn – BBC News

Posted July 18th, 2012 in archives, budgets, forensic science, miscarriage of justice, news by tracey

“The closure of the forensic science archive in England and Wales will cause miscarriages of justice and stop police solving crimes, senior politicians, scientists and lawyers have warned.”

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BBC News, 18th July 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Michael Mansfield: ‘Risk of miscarriages of justice as great as ever’ – The Guardian

Posted April 2nd, 2012 in evidence, forensic science, legal aid, miscarriage of justice, news by sally

“At the Guardian’s Open Weekend, Michael Mansfield QC warns against imagining that miscarriages of justice are something that have declined since famous confession-based cases of the 1980s. In today’s world, where faulty forensic evidence is more likely to be the problem, he worries about access to justice, pointing the finger at the emasculation of the legal aid system by successive governments and a renewed attempt to erode the right to trial by jury.”

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The Guardian, 2nd April 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Killer Kevin Nunn in High Court forensic evidence challenge – BBC News

Posted March 22nd, 2012 in appeals, DNA, evidence, forensic science, news by sally

“A convicted killer has started a new High Court challenge to access forensic evidence that his lawyers claim could clear his name.”

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BBC News, 21st March 2012

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Forensics blunder ‘may endanger convictions’ – The Guardian

Posted March 9th, 2012 in forensic science, news by tracey

“Scores of convictions for serious crimes may have to be reviewed after a serious blunder by a leading private forensics firm led to a suspected rapist being acquitted, the Guardian has learned. The company, LGC Forensics, has admitted that a sample at one of its laboratories became so contaminated it could not be offered in evidence.”

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The Guardian, 8th March 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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An open and shut case – The Guardian

“Closing the Forensic Science Service will make miscarriages of justice more likely.”

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The Guardian, 16th February 2012

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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