chapter  14
24 Pages

Trace biometrics and criminal investigations

WithRobin Williams, Paul Johnson

There is a growing academic literature on the varied, complex and recursive relationships between expert scientific practice and the administration of justice. Prominent recent examples include Roberts and Willmore (1993), Lynch and Jasanoff (1998), Cole (2001), Redmayne (2001), Thompson (2001), Roberts (2002), Faigman et al. (2004), Jasanoff (1995; 2004), Lazer (2004). Taken together, these studies constitute a significant contribution to a general understanding of the embrace of science and technology by state agencies in many criminal jurisdictions and of the (often contested) trajectories of the deployment of particular forensic innovations and expertise within criminal justice institutions. However, despite the scholarly interrogation of many scientific, social, legal and ethical issues raised by such an embrace, the predominant focus of this work has been on the deployment and disputation of scientific evidence and expertise within court proceedings.