Forensic Science and the Law, 2nd Edition

Author(s): Dr Anna Sandiford Forensic Science and the Law, 2nd Edition


Like its well-regarded predecessor this new edition of Forensic Science and the Law - A Guide for Police, Lawyers and Expert Witnesses is an information resource providing practical information to readers about the key areas of forensic science encountered in criminal and traffic cases. Drawing on her experience as a forensic scientist, consultant and expert witness, Dr Anna Sandiford has written the book for non-scientists who need a non-technical explanation of the most common forensic science issues raised during the investigation and litigation stages of criminal and traffic proceedings. Key aspects of forensic investigation, scene examination and crash investigation are covered as are important areas of forensic science including, drugs, alcohol and toxicology, document examination, image and audio analysis, fingerprints and other marks, fires and explosions, DNA, biology, transfer and persistence and bloodstain pattern analysis, medical issues including pathology, psychology and psychiatry and environmental forensics including anthropology, diatoms (drowning cases), pollen and entomology (insects). The book also discusses the role of expert witnesses and the writing and interpretation of expert reports.


This Second Edition brings the text up to date and incorporates new commentary on:

  • the 2016 PCAST report into forensic science, particularly in the areas of feature-comparison methods (including fingerprints and DNA mixtures);
  • historical reinvestigations;
  • advances in DNA techniques and interpretations;
  • developments in, and limitations of, interpretation in hair toxicology (hair follicle analysis);
  • recent changes in Land Transport Act blood sample collection;
  • disclosure issues and ESR's full electronic case jackets;
  • capacity assessment; and
  • ongoing changes and increased transparency that appear to be occurring in the criminal legal system.

The new edition is also written with a diverse readership in mind ranging from police officers, lawyers, judges and expert witnesses. For these reasons the book continues to be a standard work of reference for all those with an interest in applying or learning about forensic science in the content of New Zealand’s criminal justice system. The book will also be of interest to tertiary students studying criminal law, criminology and forensic science and to members of the wider public wishing to extend their knowledge of the way in which forensic science is used in criminal, Family law and traffic investigations.




Chapter 1 The Expert

Chapter 2 Experts’ Reports

Chapter 3 The Investigation and What to Consider

Chapter 4 Understanding Expert Witness Findings

Chapter 5 Drugs

Chapter 6 Marks, Impressions and Damage

Chapter 7 Trace Material

Chapter 8 Questioned Document Examination

Chapter 9 Image and Audio Analysis

Chapter 10 Fingerprints and Other Marks

Chapter 11 Fires and Explosions

Chapter 12 Crash Investigation and Analysis

Chapter 13 Alcohol

Chapter 14 Toxicology

Chapter 15 Biology and Bloodstain Pattern Analysis

Chapter 16 DNA

Chapter 17 Medical Expertise

Chapter 18 Psychology and Psychiatry

Chapter 19 Environmental Forensics and Scene Examination

Table of Statutes and Regulations

Table of Cases

Subject Index

Publication dateAugust 2019
PublisherThomson Reuters
Books ISBN: 9781988591070
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