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Lawyers and DNA: Issues in understanding and challenging the evidence


Cashman, K and Henning, T, Lawyers and DNA: Issues in understanding and challenging the evidence, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 24, (1) pp. 69-83. ISSN 1034-5329 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Institute of Criminology Press

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Miscarriages of justice and reports from Australia and overseas indicate that some lawyers lack knowledge of problems associated with DNA evidence. Many lack understanding of the weaknesses in this evidence and how to uncover and deal with them in criminal cases. This article provides an overview of research and reports that have considered lawyers' role in dealing with DNA evidence. It then introduces a qualitative research project into how lawyers in two Australian jurisdictions deal with DNA evidence in criminal cases. It presents a number of preliminary, but critical, findings identified in interviews with legal practitioners in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Victoria about their management of DNA evidence. In considering these findings, the article suggests that lacunae in practitioner knowledge and major difficulties lawyers face in dealing with DNA evidence may be attributable, in part at least, to systemic barriers to their gaining greater understanding of DNA evidence. Based on the preliminary findings and its literature review, the article points to future issues to be investigated by the project.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law in context
Research Field:Criminal law
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Criminal justice
UTAS Author:Cashman, K (Dr Kate Cashman)
UTAS Author:Henning, T (Associate Professor Terese Henning)
ID Code:80730
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2012-11-09
Last Modified:2018-03-19
Downloads:7 View Download Statistics

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