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Current Events

Visit our seminar series webpage for our upcoming seminars in the 2021/22 academic year.

Past Events

2020/21 Virtual Seminar Series

Click link to watch on demand

  1. Prof Carole McCartney. The Forensic Science Paradox. Wednesday November 25th, 2020.
  2. Dr Amelia Shooter, University of Winchester. The unwavering strength of procedural regularity in US admissibility challenges to forensic science evidence. Thursday December 3rd, 2020.
  3. Damian Allain, (Head of Casework at Inside Justice), and Professor Carole McCartney, ‘Don’t know what you’ve got (til it’s gone): The problems with retaining evidence’.
  4. Ebony Lyall-Nicholas, MSc. Assistant Director - Forensic Laboratory, Belize National Forensic Science Service. The Role and Impact of Forensic Science in Belize. Friday January 29th, 2021.
  5. Jess Ritchie, University of Leicester. Connecting law and practice for sexual violence in Kenya: Enhancing DNA sample collection, preservation and chain of custody. Thursday February 18th, 2021.
  6. Dr. Matteo Gallidabino, The future of chemical profiling: revolutionising forensic practice through next-gen approaches and machine learning, Wednesday 24th March, 2021. 

2018/19 Events and Activities

Thursday 22nd November 2018, 5.30pm – 7.30pm (Registration from 5pm)

Streamlined Forensic Reporting: Expert Panel and Discussion

City Campus East 1, Business & Law Building, Room 403

Expert Panel:

  • Robert Smith QC - New Park Court Chambers
  • Luan Lunt - Science Lead (Case Assessment & Interpretation), Senior Reporter and Team Leader at Eurofins
  • Karen Richmond - Postdoctoral Research Assistant with the Leverhulme Research Centre in Forensic Science
  • Dr. L Jane Bloor and David Schudel, Keith Borer Consultants

Thursday 28th June 2018 – All day

Symposium: ‘Medicine, Science and Justice.’ School of Law, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne.

2018/19 Seminar Series

Theme: ‘Forensic Science: Remaining Impartial in a Partial World’

This series of seminars will question the role of forensic science in society, asking how it retains its scientific objectivity and credibility, when utilised in partial environments. The working environment of forensic science is inherently problematic, with vested interests and external pressures that scientists must resist if to remain impartial. How to ensure that forensic science remains robust and objective, and how these pressures can be mitigated, will be a focal point of these introductory seminars. They will look closely at the role of forensic scientists, of forensic data, and the use of scientific evidence in the criminal justice system. At a summer conference, the role of forensic science in broader social contexts will be considered, looking at death investigations and the State, and forensic science in post-conflict situations, with guest speakers from forensic pathology and forensic anthropology.

Talks and Lectures

Rick Graham: DNA Experts in Court 

Emmanuel Amoako: Forensic Science Regulation in the UK

Carole McCartney: The Forensic Science Paradox

Aaron Amankwaa (2016 – 2019)

Project Title: Forensic DNA Databasing: Retention regimes and efficacy

Research Context:

Three legislative regimes have governed the retention of DNA data on the United Kingdom National DNA Database (NDNAD). These are broadly described as restrictive (1995 – 2001), expansive (2001 – 2013) and semi-restrictive regimes (2013 – present). The purpose of this research is to assess the efficacy of the different regimes to develop DNA retention standards for the protection of public security and the individual’s right to privacy, and advance retention reforms to maximise the utility of forensic DNA databases. The methodology will involve a statistical analysis of NDNAD match rate data to determine the impact of the different retention regimes on the performance of the database. The study will also survey the views of staff from 118 stakeholder organizations/agencies directly involved in the collection and processing of DNA samples, and use of the NDNAD; oversight and operation of the NDNAD; and those with a special interest in the operation and use of the NDNAD. A self-administered semi-structured questionnaire will be used to assess the perception of stakeholders on the efficacy of the different retention regimes against specific effectiveness criteria identified from the literature. The original contributions of this research include advancement of the literature on the efficacy of retention regimes for the NDNAD, particularly on the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 regime; proposals for development of a standard retention regime for the NDNAD; provision of retention reforms to maximise the utility of forensic DNA databases; and resource for developing human right standards and public security safeguards for forensic biometric databases worldwide.



Emmanuel Amoako (2017 – 2020)

Project Title: The regulation of forensic science in the UK

Research Context:

The oversight responsibilities of the Forensic Science Regulator, since its creation in 2008, to ensure high-quality standard in the provision of forensic science in the UK, has been without a statutory backing. This research will examine the current regulatory regime of forensic science in the UK. It aims to assess the role of the Forensic Science Regulator in regulating forensic science providers in the UK and the need for a statutory power given to the Regulator to ensure compliance with the Codes of practice and conduct. The research will involve a survey design where questionnaires will be administered to stakeholders of forensic science in the UK e.g. forensic science service providers, police forces, the judicial system, academics and other relevant stakeholders to consolidate knowledge on the administration of the statutory mandate to the Regulator and her codes of conduct and practice.


The UK Forensic Science Regulator: Fit for Purpose? Nsiah Amoako, E. & McCartney, C., 25 Feb 2021, In: WIREs Forensic Science., e1415.

The effectiveness of the current use of forensic DNA in criminal investigations in England and Wales. Amankwaa, A. & McCartney, C., 24 Feb 2021, In: WIREs Forensic Science., e1414.

Not ‘very English’: On the Use of the Polygraph by the Penal System in England and Wales. Kotsoglou, K. & Oswald, M., 2 Dec 2020, In: The Journal of Criminal Law.

McCartney, C & L. Shorter. ‘Police Retention and Storage of Evidence in England and Wales’ (2019) International Journal of Police Science and Management 22(2) 123-136.

Planetary Protection in the New Space Era: Science and Governance. Cheney, T., Newman, C., Olsson-francis, K., Steele, S., Pearson, V. & Lee, S., 13 Nov 2020, In: Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences. 7, 589817.

A study on contactless airborne transfer of textile fibres between different garments in small compact semi-enclosed spaces. Sheridan, K., Palmer, R., Saltupyte, E. & Gallidabino, M. D., 1 Oct 2020, In: Forensic Science International. 315, 110432.

Explaining and trusting expert evidence: What is a ‘sufficiently reliable scientific basis’? Ward, T., 1 Jul 2020, In: International Journal of Evidence and Proof. 24, 3, p. 233-254

Demonstrating reliability through transparency: a scientific validity framework to assist scientists and lawyers in criminal proceedings. Carr, S., Piasecki, E. & Gallop, A., 1 Mar 2020, Forensic Science International, 308

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