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The Scottish Fingerprint Inquiry: Report Published 14th December 2011

December 01 2011

Forensic Science Interpreting The Evidence

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Fingerprint Experts

Sir Anthony Campbell and his team have produced a report that in our view is worthy of the time taken to produce it.  Around two years after the last oral evidence was heard, the Inquiry team has published a well-written detailed document with clear findings and recommendations.

At 790 pages, the Inquiry team reports on all aspects of fingerprint evidence in addition to detailed analysis of the case of Shirley McKie.  It contains sections that will be of interest to fingerprint specialists, solicitors and barristers alike.

If you have limited time, then the summary is a must read: it can be found here.  It lists ten key recommendations, of 86 made in total, of which the first two are:

  • Fingerprint evidence should be recognised as opinion evidence and not fact.  Those involved in the criminal justice system need to assess it as such on its merits.
  • Examiners should discontinue reporting conclusions on identification or exclusion with a claim to 100% certainty or on any other basis suggesting that fingerprint evidence is infallible.

Our forensic fingerprint experts Catherine Tweedy and Simon Bunter would be happy to discuss questions you may have arising from the Inquiry’s findings.  They can be contacted through our Durham office on 0191 332 4999 or by email: kbc@keithborer.co.uk.

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