Essay: Forensic Science and Criminal Justice

Assessment type: Essay

Assessment weighting: 100%

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You are required to write one essay selected from the titles below. The assignment should be 2000 words in length. You should submit your assignment on the submission date indicated on Blackboard and as per the submission guidelines given.

 

Summative assignments handed in late will incur the penalties specified in the student handbook.

 

  • Do NOT write your name on any part of your assignment
  • On the front page include:
  1. your course and module number;
  2. date of submission;
  3. title of your assignment (this should use the original wording of your chosen essay/assessment task); and
  4. the word count (excluding reference list)

 

  • Word process your essay:-
  1. Set the text at one and a half spaces
  2. Use font size 11 or 12
  3. Format paragraphs clearly, leaving a space after each paragraph
  4. Number the pages

 

  • Reference your essay using the system outlined in the University’s Harvard referencing guide (available via Blackboard and from the Library website).

 

  • Include a correctly set out reference list which begins on a new page.

 

Students who fail to follow these guidelines may lose marks.

 

 

 

Assessment questions:

 

  • Critically consider how the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 has influenced the effectiveness of forensic databases from a policing perspective. Should privacy and ethical concerns prevail over public safety and national security?

 

  • Critically consider how forensic science practices could lead to miscarriages of justice. Can current policies and legislation prevent further miscarriages of justice from occurring?

 

  • Critically consider how forensic science practices are portrayed in CSI and similar programmes. How might these portrayals impact (positively or/and negatively) on at least two aspects of the criminal justice system?

 

Question 2

 

Critically consider how forensic science practices could lead to miscarriages of justice. Can current policies and legislation prevent further miscarriages of justice from occurring?

 

 

Areas to consider including in your essay:

 

  • What is a miscarriage of justice?
  • At what stages of the criminal justice system could a miscarriage of justice occur from the practice of forensic science.
    • Recovery phase (CSI).
    • Analysis phase (Lab).
    • Interpretation (bias?).
    • Reporting phases (Court).
    • Use of inappropriate ‘junk’ science
  • Critically discuss the various policies and legislation that have been introduced in an attempt to prevent miscarriages of justice from occurring.
    • PACE Act 1984.
    • Law Commission report 2011.
    • Forensic Science Regulator’s Codes of Conduct.
    • ISO 17025 and ISO 17020 standards.
  • Have such policies and legislation prevented further miscarriages of justice, or are such still issues occurring?

 

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