Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New approach to production of forensic evidence to be rolled out in the UK

This just in from the UK's Justice Ministry: "Rollout in April 2013 of initiative to cut costs, bureaucracy and delays across England and Wales.

Guidance is now available on a new approach by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to the production of forensic evidence at court.

Streamlined Forensic Reporting (SFR) is to be rolled out across the criminal justice system to reduce costs, bureaucracy and delays.

The scheme has been led by the London Criminal Justice Partnership in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police and London CPS.

It is publicly endorsed by the Senior Presiding Judge and is being championed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

How SFR works

The idea is to avoid at an early stage the full production of unnecessary forensic evidence.
This is achieved by the early preparation of a short report specifying key pieces of forensic evidence the CPS is relying on.

This will be sufficient for charging purposes and initial hearings. But if any issues crop up about the evidence these can then be looked at during the case management process.

If early agreement isn’t reached on forensic issues, there is still the benefit of identifying the contested areas as early as possible.

Further forensic evidence will only be produced if it proves relevant to a live issue in the case ..."

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