Friday, November 26, 2010

December 2010

From the last posting on possible errors in forensic science, I received several reactions for methods to reduce errors caused by humans by software. Of course that is a good approach, however one should include it in the whole system.
One issue we also see is the way the conclusions and the report are interpreted by the readers such as judges, juries and prosecutors. Also the combination of conclusions from different sources of evidence is important. For this a Bayesian approach can also be used, which is logically correct. An issue remains that the readers not always read the same, and interpretation by the readers of the report can also give confusion. For that reason, it is important to have good education on statistics, and write clear reports. And there we have the paradox that by writing more logically reports it is less intuitive for the reader, especially in detailed technical reports.

Currently also working on my website , since sometimes information has to be checked and rechecked again. It seems many persons also use older versions, and ask for updates of these. This week I had to stay at home due to an injury at my knee, so I had time to read articles, reviewing them, and also making phone calls. Working at the computer was less ergonomic. Next week I hope to start working again.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 2010

November started with the organization of the Themadagen Digital Evidence for the Dutch Law Enforcement, were we had 270 participants. Furthermore as always a somewhat busy time, however this month some vacation time (since normally I work during the summer holidays). So going south to Cyprus, with nice weather.

Also thinking on forensic science for law enforcement and commercial services and issues like certification. In the Netherlands they are working on a register for certified forensic scientist, which is in the law.

There are several opinions on this development. An opinion is that forensic science for crime cases is not good as a commercial service, since it might cause issues with bias to the client who pays for the services. Others think this can be prevented within the law system by making judges, prosecutors and juries if applicable aware of this issue, and that it will also be solved within a market, as in the UK, with a forensic regulator by using appropiate scientific quality standards.
An issue which we see in England and Wales, is that the police will do more forensic work themselves, so there is no market anymore. In Germany and other countries it appears to work well with private experts.

However, with any system all people should be aware of objective forensic services, and for this reason all research for objectivation of forensic evidence is impportant, were now much effort is spend by the forensic community, in funding of research by the National Institute of Justice and of the FP7 of the European Union.