Skip to navigation Skip to content

Hutton scientists contribute evidence to parliamentary investigation into UK forensic science

Soil forensic analysis at the James Hutton Institute
"We were able to provide evidence on the delivery of geoscience in aspects of search and as trace evidence across the legal systems in England and Wales and in Scotland"

Scientists of the James Hutton Institute have provided evidence for an investigation conducted by the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee into the quality and reliability of forensic science within the UK legal system, as part of a hard-hitting report entitled Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System: A Blueprint for Change.

The report focusses on five key areas including oversight, leadership and responsibility; market and service provision; ensuring trust; the use of forensic science in the criminal justice system; and research and development. Issued identified point towards a lack of understanding, poor leadership, inadequate funding and regulatory powers, and deficiencies in access to forensic science experts for defence lawyers.

Professor Lorna Dawson, head of Soil Forensics at the Institute, led the Hutton contribution to the report and commented: “This inquiry is unique in taking a holistic view of forensic science across the whole of the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

“We were able to provide evidence on the delivery of geoscience in aspects of search and as trace evidence across the legal systems in England and Wales and in Scotland, where the effectiveness of the integration of information in evaluation is vitally important, as is the value and use of relevant and appropriate databases.

“The Committee have identified there is an urgent need to address the complex challenges that are faced in forensic science to stop forensic science moving from crisis to crisis and to engender trust in the criminal justice system.”

The report can be downloaded from the UK Parliament website.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/hutton-scientists-contribute-evidence-parliamentary-investigation-uk-forensic-science on 16/06/19 03:40:28 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.