DNA review up against thin blue line
30 April 2010
Professor Mark Findlay conducted a review into DNA laws for the NSW government seven years ago. Photo courtesy of The Australian.
Professor Mark Findlay commented on the forthcoming review of the regulation of DNA and forensic science evidence in New South Wales, in a feature article by Chris Merrit, Legal Affairs Editor at The Australian.
Professor Findlay conducted the first review of the regulation of DNA and forensic evidence for the NSW government in 2003 and recommended a major overhaul.
"Nothing of substance has happened - certainly nothing in terms of legislation," he said.
"There was a lot of pressure out there to keep the DNA ball rolling.
"Any government that tried to strengthen the legislation - either on the basis of rights or procedural fairness - would not get much electoral mileage even though we established that there was a need for this.
"It became apparent that a lot of operational coppers were simply ignoring the legislation and obtaining samples of DNA using methods that were sometimes improper.
"If the defence challenges the way these samples were taken, judges fairly regularly will let it in because they believe its probative value outweighs any prejudice to the accused."
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202