Forensics for Dummies? Equality of arms in and on trial in Dutch criminal courts.

J.J. van der Kemp, S. Stalman

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePosterOther research output


Forensic disciplines such as DNA-matching, pathology and psychology are often requested to report in criminal cases. Within the Dutch legal system forensic experts are court appointed and little use of second opinion or contra-expertise by the defence is seen. This makes that forensic reports written by expert witnesses or forensic crime scene investigators must be understood by lawyers – without a forensic background - in order to discuss these in court. So how do lawyers use forensic reports in their defence cases? Do lawyers contest the forensic reports on its content or procedures? A survey conducted among criminal lawyers was done to see on what elements forensic reports are debated in court and if different styles of reporting or outside expertise would be considered beneficial. This last element is quite uncommon within the Dutch law practice. This study addresses both equality of arms issues as well as the importance of interpretation of forensic evidence in criminal cases by non-forensic experts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAmerican Society of Criminology - Annual Meeting 2009 - Philadelphia, USA
Duration: 4 Nov 20097 Nov 2009


ConferenceAmerican Society of Criminology - Annual Meeting 2009

Bibliographical note

Place of publication: Philadelphia, USA

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