Topic: The use of DNA evidence in cross-border investigations: from crisis to confidence

Presenter: Jessica Ritchie - PhD Candidate, TC Beirne School of Law

This research seeks to understand the global trends which relate to the laws and regulation in the use of DNA at the local, regional and international level to deal with cross-border investigations. In an era where national borders appear to be more of a formality, the opportunity for organisations and individuals to cross-borders and commit offences is increasing. To effectively try to prevent, control and respond to cross-border crime, police and judicial cooperation is required. This research focuses on the use of DNA trace and evidence in these investigations, specifically how organisations (such as the AFP, FBI, INTERPOL) respond at the domestic, international and transnational level to combat cross-border crime and how international cooperation in the field is generating new best practice standards in the use of DNA. Many forensic databases are not interoperable, either domestically, internationally or across agencies, demanding workable and transparent systems be put in place before exchange is needed. A lack of international standards, quality assurance, and standardisation of data can render information transmitted across borders or agencies worthless. There needs to be balance in the interests of bringing the offender/s to justice and respecting the human rights and dignity of individuals whilst also recognising the broader community safety issues. 

All welcome, no RSVP required.

Contact: Claire Lam, ph: (336) 57903, email:

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