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Conference explores medicine, science and justice

3rd July 2018

Northumbria University, Newcastle,  recently welcomed a group of leading academics and professionals to Newcastle for an international seminar demonstrating the contribution of science and medicine to complex cases and problems in the justice system internationally.

The one-day seminar attracted participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. The group examined a range of issues which demonstrated the importance of forensic science and medicine to public safety, health and wellbeing.

Examples of the cases and issues covered during the session includes the forensic science contribution to the Stephen Lawrence and Joanna Yates inquiries, how blood pattern analysis helped to exonerate a man accused of GBH with intent, and the ethical and legal aspects of genetic identification of victims of crime in Brazil.

The conference also featured a panel discussion on the challenging issue of Medical Assistance in Dying, which was led by Alfredo Walker, a registered Forensic Pathologist from the University of Ottawa, Jon Maskill, a consultant in anaesthetics and intensive care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Jeffrey Keeble, head of litigation and healthcare at Ward Hadaway.

Martin Evison, professor in Forensic Science in the Faculty of Health and Life Science at Northumbria University coordinated the conference with Dr Carole McCartney, a reader in the School of Law.

He said: “The seminar was a cross-faculty initiative of science and justice, medical and mental health law, and forensic science research groups. The feedback we’ve received has been excellent. The conference has served to share and expand knowledge in fascinating areas of medicine and forensics.”

For related research please visit Northumbria Law School's Science and Justice Research Interest Group.

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