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Project to support better understanding of science in court

Posted 11/04/2016

The Lord Chief Justice, The Royal Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh today announce the launch of a project to develop a series of guides or ‘primers’ on scientific topics which is designed to assist the judiciary, legal teams and juries when handling scientific evidence in the courtroom. The first primer document to be developed will cover DNA analysis.

The purpose of the primer documents is to present, in plain English, an easily understood and accurate position on the scientific topic in question. The primers will also cover the limitations of the science, challenges associated with its application and an explanation of how the scientific area is used within the judicial system. An editorial board, drawn from the judicial and scientific communities, will develop each individual primer. Before publication, the primers will be peer reviewed by practitioners, including forensic scientists and the judiciary, as well as the public.

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