Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parliamentary Committee Report on DNA Identification Act

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:
"The National DNA Data Bank (hereinafter the NDDB) is an extremely effective investigation tool upon which police can rely to further their investigations or exonerate a suspect. The information contained in the NDDB has also prompted the exoneration of persons who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. The NDDB not only cuts down the length of police investigations, it also makes it possible to resolve more efficiently the many cases that come before the courts. Certainly, the evidence provided by DNA samples encourages 'guilty' pleas. It cannot therefore be too strongly stated that evidence of this kind simplifies the administration of justice and allows for significant cost savings."

"This report reviews the provisions in the DNA Identification Act that establish the NDDB. It highlights the significant contributions made by the NDDB and the relevant forensic laboratories to the efficient administration of justice. It also stresses how crucial it is that additional resources be allocated to the NDDB and forensic laboratories to ensure that the justice system functions as it should (...)"

"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. 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."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of book and serial titles which have been released during the previous week by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm


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