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Streamlined Forensic Reports Stage 1 – what do they mean in your case?

Issue 12 of the Better Case Management (BCM) Newsletter published this month focuses on Streamlined Forensic Reporting.  The newsletter draws attention to the intended role of the SFR1 in identifying real issues for trial.  It states, however, that SFR1s remain inadmissible in evidence; so how much reliance should you place on them when advising your client?

The newsletter also advises that SFR1s are prepared on initial test results/findings before evaluation and often no expert has been involved.  It is difficult, therefore, to see how they can also be considered as a summary of an expert’s conclusions since no expert evaluation has taken place.  This type of inconsistency in the BCM newsletter provides a reflection of the much broader inconsistencies in prosecution use of SFR.

How should you advise your client at this critical SFR1 stage of a case?  KBC can evaluate the significance of the initial SFR1 findings in case context and, perhaps more importantly, the limitations of the test results and identify what questions you should ask.  Streamlined Forensic Reporting and BCM apply considerable pressure to defendants to accept the content of SFR1s, often without appreciating the inferences that the prosecution might subsequently attach to them or the implications to their defence.  Our expert forensic evaluation reports can be a vital component in reaching an informed response to SFR1s.

For help with SFR1s reporting DNA matches, fingerprint identifications, drug purity and valuations, and toxicology, please call experts in either of our offices in Durham (0191 332 4999) or Huntingdon (01480 432 794).

Posted March 2017.