Standards Of Legal Drafting Of The Forensic Report

AlDaihani, Saad (10-2014)

Working Paper

The forensic analyst has to create a forensic report which discusses the materials that were analysed, the methods that were used, the observations that were recorded and the results that were found. The report does not mention the chain of custody, nor does it mention the possible sources of the samples. It needs to objectively document the process of experimental analysis, without alluding to any possible convictions; 1further details would be documented in the full laboratory report.2 The layout of the forensic report is usually concise and simple enough to be understood by a non-scientific party; this may include police officers, lawyers or jury members. It will contain all of the information that is required to explain the findings of the analysis, without being overly complicated or difficult to understand. Additionally, the scientist in question will ensure that he is clear and honest about the results, as there is rarely any contribution from another scientific individual.3 Furthermore, the forensic scientist is viewed as an expert witness; therefore, any opinions that he makes will be based on clear and disclosed facts, without being biased towards the individuals involved in the court case.4 To be considered effective, according to both White5 and Townley6, the forensic report must contain adequate and accurate information on: