Like its well-regarded predecessor this new edition of Forensic Science and the Law - A Guide for Police, Lawyers and Expert Witnesses is an information resource providing practical information to readers about the key areas of forensic science encountered in criminal and traffic cases. Drawing on her experience as a forensic scientist, consultant and expert witness, Dr Anna Sandiford has written the book for non-scientists who need a non-technical explanation of the most common forensic science issues raised during the investigation and litigation stages of criminal and traffic proceedings. Key aspects of forensic investigation, scene examination and crash investigation are covered as are important areas of forensic science including, drugs, alcohol and toxicology, document examination, image and audio analysis, fingerprints and other marks, fires and explosions, DNA, biology, transfer and persistence and bloodstain pattern analysis, medical issues including pathology, psychology and psychiatry and environmental forensics including anthropology, diatoms (drowning cases), pollen and entomology (insects). The book also discusses the role of expert witnesses and the writing and interpretation of expert reports.

This Second Edition brings the text up to date and incorporates new commentary on:

  • the 2016 PCAST report into forensic science, particularly in the areas of feature-comparison methods (including fingerprints and DNA mixtures);
  • historical reinvestigations;
  • advances in DNA techniques and interpretations;
  • developments in, and limitations of, interpretation in hair toxicology (hair follicle analysis);
  • recent changes in Land Transport Act blood sample collection;
  • disclosure issues and ESR's full electronic case jackets;
  • capacity assessment; and
  • ongoing changes and increased transparency that appear to be occurring in the criminal legal system.