Forensic Science Evidence and Expert Witness Testimony
Show Less

Forensic Science Evidence and Expert Witness Testimony

Reliability through Reform?

Edited by Paul Roberts and Michael Stockdale

Forensic science evidence plays a pivotal role in modern criminal proceedings. Yet such evidence poses intense practical and theoretical challenges. It can be unreliable or misleading and has been associated with miscarriages of justice. In this original and insightful book, a global team of prominent scholars and practitioners explore the contemporary challenges of forensic science evidence and expert witness testimony from a variety of theoretical, practical and jurisdictional perspectives. Chapters encompass the institutional organisation of forensic science, its procedural regulation, evaluation and reform, and brim with comparative insight.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: Expert evidence law reform in Ireland

Liz Heffernan

Abstract

This chapter explores the law and practice of expert evidence in the Republic of Ireland. The common law exerts a dominant influence in Irish criminal trials. In the absence of legislation, the courts have grappled with the practical difficulties of assessing the reliability and probative value of expert evidence in fields such as fingerprinting, DNA profiling, psychiatry, and questioned document analysis. A piecemeal, pragmatic judicial approach to expert evidence has prompted calls for reform. However, the Irish Law Reform Commission has not been persuaded that Ireland should follow the lead of other common law countries by introducing a Daubert-style admissibility test. The chapter also considers the procedural rights of the defence in relation to expert evidence, with reference to relevant provisions of the Irish Constitution and the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the ECHR. In conclusion, the chapter advocates a flexible, contextualised judicial approach, but one firmly focussed on ensuring that expert evidence adduced in trials is actually reliable, and therefore genuinely relevant, to the proceedings.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.