chapter  3
20 Pages

Australia

WithDonald Chalmers

Criminal investigations have benefited from developments in research in molecular biology. Australia has followed developments in the United Kingdom, where tests to identify human genetic characteristics have been applied in criminal investigations. Improvements in molecular biological analysis of human DNA have had a widespread impact on forensic techniques in criminal investigations. The use of DNA profiling in criminal investigations, particularly for serious offences against the person, is well-established in Australia. The Model Bill provisions are closely replicated in Part 1D of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). This Part outlines the processes to be followed in the conduct of forensic procedures, including the prerequisites that must be met, and provides for a DNA database for the storing and matching of DNA profiles. Consent is generally required for a forensic procedure, or the procedure should be authorised by a senior constable or a magistrate.