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Towards coherent co-presentation of expert evidence in criminal trials: Experiences of communication between forensic scientists and legal practitioners

Citation

Howes, LM, Towards coherent co-presentation of expert evidence in criminal trials: Experiences of communication between forensic scientists and legal practitioners, Criminal Law Journal, 39, (5) pp. 252-271. ISSN 0314-1160 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters

Official URL: http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/catego...

Abstract

Science and law have been described as a marriage of opposites. This article outlines some difficulties in the communication about forensic science in the criminal justice system and reports a study that explored Australian legal practitioners’ and forensic scientists’ perceptions of the effectiveness of such communication. Participants reportedly concurred that pre-trial discussion was an essential part of preparation for criminal trials, although defence barristers often preferred to discuss contentious findings with an independent expert. Participants saw the responsibility for relevant, clear, and coherent expert evidence to be shared between forensic scientists and legal practitioners because it was co-presented to the jury. Implications from the study include approaches to professional development to further improve cross-disciplinary communication, both in and out of the courtroom. Overall, the findings suggest that the relationship between forensic scientists and legal practitioners in serious cases is one of mutual respect and developing understanding.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Forensic science; expert evidence; communication; police investigators
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law
Research Field:Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the Law
Objective Field:Legal Processes
Author:Howes, LM (Dr Loene Howes)
ID Code:104259
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-11-05
Last Modified:2016-03-18
Downloads:0

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