Media release: Forensic science and legal teams join forces on evidence


The need for greater collaboration and understanding between the judiciary, lawyers and forensic scientists will be highlighted at an international conference being held at the University of Adelaide next week.

300 delegates – including Chief Justices from Australia and other Commonwealth countries, and Professors of evidence law and forensic science from every continent – will attend the 5th International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (ICELFS) from 22-23 July.

Hosted by the University of Adelaide in partnership with the China University of Political Science and Law, this is the first time the ICELFS has been held outside of China.

“Lawyers and forensic scientists play a critical interdisciplinary role in the pursuits and objectives of the other’s profession. This conference brings together key people – at the peak of the judiciary, academy and profession of law and science from across the world – to discuss common issues and shared opportunities,” says Chief Organiser of ICELFS 2015 David Caruso, Director of the Litigation Law Unit in the University of Adelaide’s Law School.

“Topics being discussed and debated include: recent advances in DNA technology; reliability and standard setting for scientific testing across Western and Eastern legal systems; effective cross-examination of forensic scientists in court and what the future may hold for the field of forensic identification.

“Of particular interest is the growing role of the internet in forensics cases, data recovery, and the role of Cloud technology in helping to establish a chain of evidence – especially where that data is being held across borders. This is very much an emerging challenge for scientists, litigators and the judiciary,” Mr Caruso says.

“Another major issue is the preservation and recovery of evidence in conflict, war or disaster zones. Such evidence is critical for national security reasons.”

In addition to the official conference proceedings at the University’s North Terrace campus, delegates will also attend a series of pre-conference workshops, including visits to the District and Supreme Courts of South Australia and attendance at the laboratories of Forensic Science SA and the University’s own world-leading Australian Centre for Ancient DNA.

“The aim of ICELFS 2015 is to assemble leading minds concerned with the improvement of modern litigation. That topic is not one for lawyers alone: a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach is needed. Through debate and exchange amongst this international delegation, our goal is to promote new concepts and the sharing of knowledge which will allow delegates to return to their home jurisdictions – offices and laboratories – with new avenues and renewed vigour for their contribution to the pursuit of justice,” Mr Caruso says.

The full conference program can be found online:

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