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Questions over changes to accredition of forensic evidence

16 January 2020

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has today published a report on the Accreditation of Forensic Service Providers (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/1384).

Background

These Home Office Regulations propose that DNA-profile or fingerprint evidence acquired at government-owned laboratories at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories at Porton Down and Fort Halstead do not have to conform with the International Standard required by EU Legislation but can use a modified process.

Committee concerns

The Report raises a number of concerns about how this might operate and, in particular, whether the forensic evidence obtained under the new arrangement will be acceptable to the courts.

The Report draws these Regulations to the special attention of the House on the ground that, for the situations identified in the Regulations, they may inappropriately implement European Union legislation.