Upcoming BAFS Events

The multiple personalities of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA): Investigation, Evaluation & Review

Date: 9th December 2019, 18:00
Venue: Gordon Museum of Pathology
Speaker: Jo Millington

The role of a bloodstain pattern in an investigation can evolve significantly from crime scene to court. Through this process the BPA evidence can be considered by multiple actors with various remits, from the initial investigation and into the subsequent court process … and beyond. The investigator may initially use the distribution of bloodstains to identify possible mechanisms of production. When suspects are identified, the bloodstaining will be evaluated in light of the accounts that have been provided.

Throughout the criminal justice process, the analyst will be required to present an evidence-base that substantiates their observations and supports the conclusions that they present to the court. This can include to decision-makers whose only experience of BPA is from the television.

The BPA findings may also be assessed by other scientists, instructed on behalf of the defence or as part of a post-conviction review, and their role may include consideration of the original case record against a completely new set of propositions.

The original bloodstain pattern analyst must therefore ensure that their records can support every stage of the enquiry. The record must be consistent, comprehensive and complete, so that anyone who reviews their work can investigate the bloodstains as though they were looking through the original investigators eyes.

In this talk, Jo Millington will discuss the role of bloodstain patterns across a number of criminal case investigations and, with the help of the audience, attempt to interpret some of the bloodstain patterns that have recently gained notoriety, thanks to Netflix et al.

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Sources and Expression of Clinical and Scientific Expert Witness Bias

The Royal Society of Medicine

Date:
18th January 2020
Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London

About the event:

At this exciting meeting, the Royal Society of Medicine and the British Association of Forensic Science will bring together a top faculty of prominent speakers to look at the source of partiality in different forensic disciplines, addressing bias in the individual and in the criminal justice system.

Sources and Expression of Expert Witness Bias

The expert witness practice of forensic doctors and scientists is under increasing scrutiny, by both the courts and professional bodies.

Appraisal of expert witness practice must address not only technical competence, including demonstrating evidence of a real understanding of the interface between medicine or science and law, but also ethical probity. And the avoidance of bias represents the greatest technical and ethical challenge.

Bias can arise from sources ‘within’ the expert, including via ‘cognitive bias and heuristics’, or as an inherent reflection of the adversarial legal system itself; and can be expressed throughout the method of assessment, report drafting and giving of oral evidence.

The conference will define and address bias across a range of forensic medicine and science disciplines, presented by a range of distinguished practitioners; in order to identify sources and routes to expression that are both ‘generic’ to all expert witness practice and specific to particular medical and scientific disciplines. And the programme will end with a senior judicial commentary on bias in expert evidence, as well as on judicial bias, as viewed from the bench.

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Science & Justice: The Family Courts

Date: 21st March 2020
Venue: Bush House, King's College London, WC2B 4LL

Further information to be made available soon.

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