Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21
Available as a Free Standing Elective
This module provides study of the two end-points of the forensic process, namely the crime scene and the court, and, as such, complements the study of the chemical and physical analysis of evidential materials that forms the basis of other modules at level 7. In detail, the first section covers study of the assessment of a crime scene and the formulation of a forensic strategy based on evidential value, both for investigative and conviction goals. The admissibility of forensic evidence in the court and the consequences for the forensic scientist are discussed through the use of real case-studies. Evidence evaluation and, in particular, the logical evaluation using Bayesian inference are reviewed and applied to a variety of evidence types. Finally, the role of the expert witness in the court is critically reviewed in detail and again illustrated using case-studies. The module is assessed through a number of critical studies and reports linked to the main issues within the module and there is a mock court cross-examination exercise in conclusion.
Talis Aspire Reading ListAny reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/che-40025/lists
This module aims to:To provide in-depth study of the two end-points of the forensic process - the crime scene and the court Explain and illustrate how forensic science at the crime scene may be used to provide investigative leads as well as evidence leading to conviction in the courtProvide a sound understanding of evidential value and the processes supporting both investigative and conviction forensicsProvide a critical evaluation of the importance of the admissibility of evidence and the factors that may contribute to evidence being rejected by the courtEngender skills in critically reviewing approaches to evidence evaluation according to evidence type, including appropriate use of statistical toolsProvide a sound understanding of the court procedures regarding the scientific expert witness and the court's expectations of such witnessesFacilitate the development of advanced skills in the preparation of concise expert witness reports on different evidence types and according to the circumstances of a given case scenarioEngender skills in the preparation and delivery of oral testimony to the court and the ability to defend it under cross-examination.
Intended Learning Outcomes
describe and critically evaluate the role of the crime scene and the court within the forensic process, including much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the discipline; will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2describe and critically evaluate how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to interpret knowledge in the forensic-legal process; will be achieved by assessments: 2, 3, 4evaluate critically current scholarship in the forensic-legal process by applying conceptual knowledge and methodologies; will be achieved by assessments: 2, 3, 4deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate conclusions clearly to professional and non-specialist audiences. will be achieved by assessments: 1, 3, 4
Lectures 16 hWorkshops/ problem classes 8 hCross-examination (including formative session) 1 hPreparation for workshops 20 hPreparation of reports and testimony 35 hSelf-directed study 70 h
1: Report weighted 20%
Description of Module Assessment
Forensic report for the Senior Investigating OfficerThis is a concise report (1000 words) on the findings from forensic examination of a crime scene indicating the forensic strategy and procedures being recommended to the senior police officer.2: Commentary weighted 30%
Critical analysis of a court of appeal caseThis is a critical study (1500 words) of an individual court of appeal case where specific forensic evidence and associated testimony is at issue.3: Report weighted 30%
Expert Witness StatementThis is a written testimony for the court (1500 words) based on a given scenario and associated forensic data.4: Viva weighted 20%
Expert witness cross-examinationThis is the examination and cross-examination of the expert witness (20 min) in a mock court on the basis of the testimony submitted on forensic evidence (assessment 3).