NSW Plenary Session

August 18, 2021 NSW Plenary Session

Plenary Session:  18 August 2021  Due to Covid-19 Restrictions, the meeting will be by Audio/Visual – Details will be announced soon

Strengthening forensic science by understanding its fundamental principles:

Presenter:  Claude Roux, Distinguished Professor,

Director, Centre for Forensic Science

The example of the Sydney Declaration
Forensic science has been at the crossroads, not to say in crisis, for over a decade. The robustness of the scientific foundations of essentially all of the forensic science disciplines is being questioned on a regular basis. Further, the usefulness of forensic science continues to be questioned by evaluative studies focusing on the judicial contribution. It is apparent that the debate mainly focused on organisation and process rather than fundamental principles. Further, very few discussions considered the contribution of forensic science beyond the production of evidence in court, overlooking essential contributions to investigation and security. Finally, some rapid changes in society and organizations are bringing additional challenges for forensic science laboratories.
In this presentation, it is argued that this situation generates not only challenges but also opportunities for forensic science to move forward. One such opportunity has recently materialised with the Sydney Declaration that recently presented the outcomes of a profound reflexion attempting to capture the essence and nature of forensic science through a definition and seven principles. The promotion of a shared understanding of forensic science and its principles provides a solid and transversal basis that will guide future improvements in this field.

Professor Claude Roux
After completing his undergraduate and PhD studies in forensic science at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Claude Roux migrated to Australia in 1996. Claude has been pivotal to the development of forensic science in his adopted country over the past 25 years by developing and leading the first undergraduate degree and PhD program in forensic science. His research activities cover a broad spectrum of forensic science, including trace evidence and chemical criminalistics, documents, fingerprints, forensic intelligence and the contribution of forensic science to policing and security.

Claude is Distinguished Professor of Forensic Science, Centre for Forensic Science, U. Technology Sydney, a member of the editorial board of six scientific journals and of a number of working and advisory groups in Australia and overseas. He was President of the Australian & New Zealand Forensic Science Society (ANZFSS) from 2010 to 2016. He is the current President of the International Association of Forensic Sciences, Vice-President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Criminal Court.

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