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Conceptualising forensic science and forensic reconstruction. Part I: A conceptual model

Morgan, RM; (2017) Conceptualising forensic science and forensic reconstruction. Part I: A conceptual model. Science and Justice , 57 (6) pp. 455-459. 10.1016/j.scijus.2017.06.002. Green open access

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Abstract

There has been a call for forensic science to actively return to the approach of scientific endeavour. The importance of incorporating an awareness of the requirements of the law in its broadest sense, and embedding research into both practice and policy within forensic science, is arguably critical to achieving such an endeavour. This paper presents a conceptual model (FoRTE) that outlines the holistic nature of trace evidence in the ‘endeavour’ of forensic reconstruction. This model offers insights into the different components intrinsic to transparent, reproducible and robust reconstructions in forensic science. The importance of situating evidence within the whole forensic science process (from crime scene to court), of developing evidence bases to underpin each stage, of frameworks that offer insights to the interaction of different lines of evidence, and the role of expertise in decision making are presented and their interactions identified. It is argued that such a conceptual model has value in identifying the future steps for harnessing the value of trace evidence in forensic reconstruction. It also highlights that there is a need to develop a nuanced approach to reconstructions that incorporates both empirical evidence bases and expertise. A conceptual understanding has the potential to ensure that the endeavour of forensic reconstruction has its roots in ‘problem-solving’ science, and can offer transparency and clarity in the conclusions and inferences drawn from trace evidence, thereby enabling the value of trace evidence to be realised in investigations and the courts.

Type: Article
Title: Conceptualising forensic science and forensic reconstruction. Part I: A conceptual model
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2017.06.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2017.06.002
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd on behalf of The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Forensic science; Conceptual model; Interpretation; Trace evidence; Forensic reconstruction
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1563693
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