Monday, July 12, 2010

Senate Statutory Review of the DNA Identification Act

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recently published its report entitled Public Protection, Privacy and the Search for Balance: A Statutory Review of the DNA Identification Act.

The Act, which came into effect in 2000, created a national DNA databank containing DNA samples from individuals convicted of certain designated offences.

The Committee recommends allowing the automatic taking of DNA samples from adults convicted of an expanded number of designated crimes. But it recommends against amending the Criminal Code to allow the collection of DNA from individuals at the time they are placed into lawful custody and charged with indictable offences.

The Law Times has more in an article entitled Bid to expand DNA sampling sparks criticism (July 12, 2010).

Related Library Boy posts include:
  • New Library of Parliament Publications (February 5, 2007): "The Library of Parliament recently produced 2 new legislative summaries pertaining to bills in front of the Canadian House of Commons: 'Bill C-18: An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to DNA identification': The bill amends the Criminal Code, the DNA Identification Act, and the National Defence Act to facilitate the implementation of Bill C-13, which was given Royal Assent on 19 May 2005 but has, save for a few sections, not been declared in force. One of the notable features of Bill C-13 is that it expanded the list of offences for which a DNA data bank order can be made."
  • Library of Parliament Publication on Forensic DNA Analysis (March 31, 2009): "This paper examines three areas in which new DNA investigation methods are already changing the application of forensic DNA analysis internationally, or are likely to do so in the near future: 1. New analysis methods for comparing degraded DNA samples; 2. DNA database searches that identify suspects by their genetic similarities to relatives; and 3. Analysis methods which could generate a physical description of a suspect based on DNA evidence."
  • Parliamentary Committee Report on DNA Identification Act (July 22, 2009): "The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Government Publications includes the June 2009 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security entitled Statutory Review of the DNA Identification Act: (...) 'This report sets out the Committee’s findings in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the Act and the administrative framework surrounding the NDDB [National DNA Data Bank]. It also highlights the exceptional work done by the scientists at the NDDB and in the forensic laboratories. It underscores the urgency of investing additional funds in the forensic laboratories and the NDDB without delay to ensure the proper functioning of the justice in this regard. It proposes recommendations designed to maximize the benefits that forensic science derives from DNA analysis. The report also expresses the Committee’s faith in DNA science, and its considered opinion that the NDDB is an extremely useful and important tool for the criminal justice system'. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:56 pm


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