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Certification of Forensic Anthropology Practice in the United Kingdom and the Development of a Discipline Code of Practice

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

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  • Lucina Hackman
  • Sue Black
  • Niamh Nic Daeid
  • Catriona Davies
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Publication date08/2018
Original languageEnglish
EventEAFS - Lyon, France
Duration: 27/08/201831/08/2018

Conference

ConferenceEAFS
CountryFrance
CityLyon
Period27/08/1831/08/18

Abstract

Introduction: As the focus on admissibility of expert evidence continues, it is imperative that appropriate standards are set and maintained. The establishment and maintenance of professional standards and codes of conduct are fundamental to the practice of forensic anthropology in the modern medico-legal landscape and this presentation will provide an opportunity for discussion of best practices from an international perspective.Aims: In 2013 the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland became the professional body for UK forensic anthropology practitioners, allowing the establishment of professional standards of codes of conduct and ethics. The process of certification has completed a full 3 year cycle with practitioners now certified at each of the three practice levels and recertification of practitioners ongoing.The Forensic Science Regulator for England and Wales called for Codes of Practice for each area of forensic practitioner expertise and this has now been completed for the discipline of forensic anthropology. This is the first national Code of Practice for this discipline and provides guidelines that all practitioners must adhere to within their daily professional practice. The adherence to discipline specific Codes of Practice, has also been mandated within the UK Criminal Practice Directions by the Lord Chief Justice ofEngland and Wales underlining the importance of this document.Conclusion: This presentation will discuss the experience of the development of the certification process and the discipline Code of Practice in the United Kingdom and share the difficulties and benefits encountered both during development and in the period of settling into the new system. The aim is to facilitate sharing of ideas and best practice in forensic anthropology and scientific expert witness evidence across this small community.