Forensic science expertise for international criminal proceedings: an old problem, a new context and a pragmatic resolution

Authors: Klinkner, M.J.

Journal: International Journal of Evidence and Proof

Volume: 13

Pages: 102-129

ISSN: 1365-7127

DOI: 10.1350/ijep.2008.12.1.284

Abstract:

Expert witness testimony provides an important source of information for international criminal proceedings, and forensic science expertise from mass graves is no exception: findings from exhumations and examinations have featured in the ad hoc tribunals’ trials and judgments. Whilst the issues surrounding the law-science relationship have been explored within the realm of national legal systems, the mixed system adopted by these tribunals presents an established discussion with a new context. Using forensic archaeology as an example, this article explores some theoretical underpinnings and practical realities surrounding the use of forensic science during international criminal investigations into mass graves before looking at how Trial Chambers aim to establish the relevance and credibility of forensic science evidence. As little guidance regarding admissibility of expert evidence is provided, it is through the case-specific legal process of cross-examination and presentation of counter-expertise that methodological issues are resolved. This, together with reliance on normative principles, is the pragmatic approach adopted to discern reliability of expert opinion.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/15897/

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Melanie Klinkner

Forensic science expertise for international criminal proceedings: an old problem, a new context and a pragmatic resolution

Authors: Klinkner, M.J.

Journal: International Journal of Evidence and Proof

Volume: 13

Issue: 2

Pages: 102-129

ISSN: 1365-7127

Abstract:

Expert witness testimony provides an important source of information for international criminal proceedings, and forensic science expertise from mass graves is no exception: findings from exhumations and examinations have featured in the ad hoc tribunals’ trials and judgments. Whilst the issues surrounding the law-science relationship have been explored within the realm of national legal systems, the mixed system adopted by these tribunals presents an established discussion with a new context. Using forensic archaeology as an example, this article explores some theoretical underpinnings and practical realities surrounding the use of forensic science during international criminal investigations into mass graves before looking at how Trial Chambers aim to establish the relevance and credibility of forensic science evidence. As little guidance regarding admissibility of expert evidence is provided, it is through the case-specific legal process of cross-examination and presentation of counter-expertise that methodological issues are resolved. This, together with reliance on normative principles, is the pragmatic approach adopted to discern reliability of expert opinion.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/15897/

Source: BURO EPrints