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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines adversarial responses to forensic science evidence, with emphasis on the implicit orderliness and taken-for-granted evidentiary value of some historical (that is, pre-DNA) forensic sciences as well as the legal assumptions and practices that developed symbiotically alongside them. It first provides an overview of the main rules and procedures regulating the admission and use of expert opinion evidence in adversarial criminal proceedings before discussing the findings and recommendations of various scientific reviews. It also considers legal engagement with forensic science evidence and related scientific advice, and concludes by asking whether there are meaningful standards regulating the admission of forensic science evidence and noting the implications of this for the efficacy of traditional adversarial trial mechanisms, the fairness of proceedings, and the rectitude of legal decision-making.

Keywords: criminal procedure, forensic sciences, expert opinion, adversarial criminal proceedings, scientific reviews, scientific advice

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