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Wise J. Experts, lay people and forensics. 2012.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/9791
Experts, lay people and forensics
Forensic science is now an integral part of many criminal justice systems around the world. It is routinely used in criminal investigations, prosecutions and exonerations in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Generally speaking, forensic science is "the application of science to those criminal and civil laws that are enforced by police agencies in a criminal justice system" (Saferstein 1998: 2). Currently, forensic science is being used to: 1. inform law enforcement agencies about the nature of crimes. 2. Assist in the detection and prosecution of known offenders. The increased availability of a diverse range of forensic evidence has assisted the criminal justice process. There have been countless cases where the use of forensic science has meant the difference between a case being solved and prosecuted, and a case being lost (Fraser & Williams 009). As a result, many forensic science providers now see themselves as an "integral part of the criminal justice system" (McCartney 2006:). This is especially the case, as forensic science providers have become key players in the court process as expert witnesses. This chapter focuses on the use of forensic evidence in criminal trials.