‘Regularising the Regulator: the Government’s Consultation about Placing the Forensic Science Regulator on a Statutory Footing’

Wilson, Tim, Stockdale, Michael, Gallop, Angela and Lawler, Bill (2014) ‘Regularising the Regulator: the Government’s Consultation about Placing the Forensic Science Regulator on a Statutory Footing’. The Journal of Criminal Law, 78 (2). pp. 136-163. ISSN 0022-0183

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1350/jcla.2014.78.2.905


This article comments on a recent Home Office consultation about making forensic regulation statutory and the government’s response to the Law Commission’s recommendations for reforming the admissibility of expert evidence in criminal trials. By suggesting a duty of ‘omissive disclosure’ we offer a possible solution to concerns expressed to parliamentary inquiries about the ‘fragmentation’ of forensic science evidence and how reform, including regulation, might bear on (and support) individual scientific and medico-legal experts, as well as organisations and methods. We welcome the regulation initiative, but suggest that government policy also needs to address interrelated and systemic problems that beset the production of scientific and medico-legal evidence. We argue that these problems stem from fragmented policy making between and within government departments, possibly a similar fragmentation in jurisdictional rule-making and, reflecting their economic influence, the degree of responsibility vested inadvertently in the police and the CPS. We also suggest that regulation is not an alternative to implementing the Law Commission’s recommendations, which together with forensic regulation should not be confined to criminal courts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Tim Wilson
Date Deposited: 02 May 2014 15:11
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 10:55
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/16321

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