Open Access Repository

Communicating expert opinion : what do forensic scientists say and what do police, lawyers, and judges hear?

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Howes, LM (2016) Communicating expert opinion : what do forensic scientists say and what do police, lawyers, and judges hear? PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Whole thesis (published material removed))
Howes_whole_the...pdf | Download (2MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview
[img] PDF (Whole thesis)
Howes_whole_the...pdf | Document not available for request/download
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

Abstract

Forensic scientists’ expert opinions are used increasingly in the course of police investigations, out-of-court settlements, and trials. For an expert opinion to benefit the community, it must be understood adequately by those charged with using it as a decision-aid. This project aimed to explore the effectiveness of communication about forensic science to police, lawyers, and judges in Australian jurisdictions. Three studies explored the readability of international expert conclusions and Australian expert reports. Content analyses of expert reports of forensic comparison of glass and DNA demonstrated that reports were typically written at a level suited to other experts. The results of these studies were then considered in light of the development of national and international standards for reporting. Based on the studies and analysis of reporting standards, practical recommendations were made to enhance the readability of expert reports, without compromising scientific integrity. Two subsequent studies explored practitioners’ experiences of the communication of expert opinion. Police investigators, legal practitioners and forensic scientists participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analyses highlighted the value of cross-disciplinary interaction and discussion, not only to foster understanding of expert opinion, but also to assist experts in developing their explanations. Recommendations were made to build on strengths in the communication between forensic scientists and police and legal practitioners within their professional contexts. It is hoped that the recommendations from this project can contribute to increased effectiveness in the communication of forensic science, and therefore to the trustworthiness and integrity of the criminal justice system. Further research, using a case-study approach, could examine the initiatives undertaken to enhance the communication of forensic science in the nuanced contexts of particular jurisdictions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: communication, expert evidence, forensic science, expert reports, content analysis, qualitative research
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the author

Additional Information:

Chapter 2 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M. (2014). The communication of forensic science in the criminal justice system: A review of theory and proposed directions for research. Science and justice, 55(2), 145-154. doi: 10.1016/j.scijus.2014.11.002

Chapter 3 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M. (2015). Developing the methodology for an applied, interdisciplinary research project: Documenting the journey toward philosophical clarity. Journal of mixed methods research, December 17, 2015, 1-9. doi:10.1177/1558689815622018

Chapter 4 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M., Kirkbride, K. P., Kelty, S. F., Julian, R., & Kemp, N. (2013). Forensic scientists’ conclusions: How readable are they for non-scientist report-users? Forensic science international, 231(1-3), 102-112. doi: 10.1016.j.forsciint.2013.04.026

Chapter 5 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M., Kirkbride, K. P., Kelty, S. F., Julian, R., & Kemp, N. (2014). The readability of expert reports for non-scientist report-users: Reports of forensic comparison of glass. Forensic science international, 236, 54-66. doi:10.1016/j.forsciint.2013.12.031

Chapter 6 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M., Julian, R., Kelty, S. F., Kemp, N., & Kirkbride, K. P. (2014). The readability of expert reports for non-scientist report-users: Reports of DNA analysis. Forensic science international, 237, 7-18. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2014.01.007

Chapter 7 appears to be the equivalent of an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Forensic science policy and management on 04/06/2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19409044.2014.880973

Chapter 8 appears to be the equivalent of an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Australian journal of forensic sciences on 10/02/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00450618.2015.1004194

Chapter 9 appears to be the equivalent of an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Policing and society on 01/10/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/10439463.2015.1089870

Chapter 10 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Howes, L. M. (2015). Towards coherent co-presentation of expert evidence in criminal trials: Experiences of communication between forensic scientists and legal practitioners. Criminal Law Journal, 39(5), 252-271 http://www.westlaw.com.au/maf/wlau/app/document?docguid=I99ebb4e076ce11e5b7bcd632878d2485&tocDs=AUNZ_AU_JOURNALS_TOC&isTocNav=true&startChunk=1&endChunk=1

Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2016 04:03
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2017 17:00
Related URLs:
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page
TOP