The Development of a European Guideline for Evaluative Reporting in Forensic Science

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Hoover (Marriott Wardman Park)
Christophe Champod, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Criminal justice authorities of EU countries currently work towards a common area of justice and to help increase the mutual trust in judicial systems across Europe. Forensic science is a key area where mutual recognition across borders is looked after.

This presentation will focus on the efforts undertaken by the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI) with the support of the European Commission to develop a guideline that sets the principles governing the elaboration of forensic reports to be use in a court of law.

Communicating the results of forensic examinations is a complex task that is fraught with conceptual and practical hurdles that we will review. There is a considerable gap between the intentions of a harmonized view on principles of forensic interpretation and the way in which works towards such common understanding is perceived in the community. In this presentation, we will review and discuss several recurrently raised concerns. We will also argue that addressing the topic of forensic interpretation now is of critical importance because forensic science continues to be challenged by proactive participants in the legal process that tend to become more demanding and less forgiving.