chapter  11
19 Pages

Another side of the story: Defence lawyers’ views on DNA evidence

ByJOHANNE YTTRI DAHL

Norwegian Minister of Justice, Knut Storberget, recently predicted a DNA revolution in Norway (Dagsavisen 24.07.2007). In December 2007, the Norwegian government decided to expand its forensic DNA database and granted 64 million kroner (approximately £5 million) to finance the ‘DNA revolution’. According to Storberget (2007), DNA analysis is one of the most important tools available in the battle against criminality worldwide. In a press release, the Ministry of Justice (2007) stated that no method can outperform DNA, neither when it comes to efficiency nor credibility, and that it is necessary for the Norwegian police to have efficient tools like police elsewhere. Repeatedly, DNA advocates predict that DNA will contribute to increased detection of a variety of crimes, from volume crime, serious crime, organised crime, to national as well as international crime. Consequently increased use of DNA will free-up police resources. Moreover, the ability to detect more crime will contribute to increased levels of security (Storberget 2007). Similarly, the British Home Office (2004: 121) claims that its National DNA database (NDNAD) is revolutionising crime detection and that ‘each week, the DNA Database identifies six murder suspects and matches over 700 profiles from crime scenes to named individuals’ (ibid.).