The ever vigilant Alastair Logan has it right once again (‘Junk science threat to justice’). Robust, independent and properly funded forensic science services have for some time been viewed by our government as expensive and inconvenient optional extras.
How else are we to explain the secrecy surrounding the decision leading to closure of the service back in 2010? Better not let the lord chief justice, the government’s own chief scientific officer, the director of public prosecutions, the attorney general or, of all people, the service’s regulator get wind of that. Just imagine the inconvenient fuss they would have kicked up.
And so, another inglorious first for England and Wales. In unsplendid isolation, we must now feign to be in step when all other comparable jurisdictions have kept this manifestation of their nation’s family silver.
As Alastair asserts, this was yet another field where we formerly led the world. Clearly that would never do.
This is characteristic of the independence and robustness of thought and action now to be expected of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee. It needs absolutely to be added that the committee’s telling interventions over shortcomings in other nations depend upon direct and uncompromising challenges over our own non-delivery.
Popular it may or may not be. Ever more vital it decidedly is.
Malcolm Fowler, Dennings, Tipton