Criminal justice, science and the marketplace: the closure of the forensic science service in perspective

Tim Wilson, Angela Gallop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite hesitant beginnings the Forensic Science Service (FSS) prospered institutionally, as the dominant supplier of forensic science services to the police, after the introduction of neoliberal policies. This ended when the FSS overreached itself and the intensification of neoliberal policies created an incongruity between its organisational objectives and those of its clients. The fortunes of UK forensic science and the FSS diverged long before its closure. Academic and learned society evidence to a Select Committee inquiry into this event, and the influence that this had on the Committee's report, illustrates this change. This expert testimony also explains the importance of the normative, epistemic and professional aspirations of criminal justice practitioners for ensuring the value of forensic science to criminal justice. We argue that the risks threatening scientific evidence, particularly recurrent problems of underfunding and unequal access for the defence, may be masked by older narratives of neoliberalism or too narrow an institutional focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-77
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Volume77
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

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