Meeting in London with Roger Byard, co-editor of 2nd Edition of Encyclopedia of Forensic & Legal Medicine, updating on submissions so far. Symptoms & Signs of Substance Misuse (3rd Edition) now at proof stage. Have provided written evidence for the AlSweady Inquiry (http://www.alsweadyinquiry.org).
Had email saying that I had been referred to by pathologists in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in Pretoria referred to time of death determined from stomach contents (http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Oscar_Pistorius/Live/LIVE-UPDATES-Pistorius-trial-day-17-20140407).
Delivered lecture on Current Research In Clinical Forensic Medicine at the International Association of Law & Forensic Sciences in Dubai. Very good conference with Sir Alec Jeffreys giving a super lecture describing the history of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting and DNA profiling. Good to see Meng Aw-Yong also presenting work on drug concealment and packing. Met up with David Ranson and caught up with forensic medicine developments in Australia.
Attended Forensics Europe Expo at Olympia. Met up with Allan Scott – founder of the Forensic & Policing Services Associations (FAPSA) which promotes and devleops of international standards for quality assurance and accreditation relevant to forensic and other policing support services by working with appropriate bodies. FAPSA welcomes enterprises of all sizes, from manufacturers, suppliers and service providers as well as academic institutions and interested end users. It is a not-for-profit organisation, funded through subscriptions and costed services, with any surpluses being used to further the Association. ForensiGraph® (www,forensigraph.com) is pleased to be a member. ForensiGraph® also has two new products – a 20″/50cm rigid version and a disposable ‘post-it’ style version in blocks of 100.
A number of court cases, for Crown and defence. Very clear that MoJ legal aid cuts adversely affecting trial management. Multiple delays with late disclosure of evidence, late requests for expert opinion, and late listing of cases. Clearly a criminal justice system in crisis. Interesting to see that Alex Cameron QC (David Cameron’s brother) successfully arguing for a stay of a complex fraud trial as defendants were unable to secure representation. In another criminal trial it was impossible to get a neurological opinion because of alteration in legal aid funding. The disaster that was waiting to happen appears to be happening and justice to victims and those accused of crime is bound to be the end result. Fascinating to see the acquitted Nigel Evans MP complaining about a system he assisted in putting in place.
Unfortunately won’t be able to be at the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine Annual General Meeting next week which has an excellent program including Maya Foa from Reprieve and Michael Mansfield QC. This will be an excellent meeting with many difficult issues explored (http://fflm.ac.uk/upload/documents/1399026710.pdf). I will be in Connecticut preparing Heartbeat IV (www.heartbeatoffshore.com) for the Newport-Bermuda Race.
Forensic Healthcare Services Ltd has published some FAQs on its website which provides all the information you need to know about all aspects of expert witness opinions and represents the queries most commonly asked of the case management team (http://www.forensic-healthcare.com/faqs.php).