Singapore, 8 October 2009 – Close to 400 professionals from the science, medical, legal and law enforcement community in Singapore and around the world are gathering in Singapore for a conference on the use of forensics in criminal investigation, victim identification and court proceedings.
The two-day conference is the first public forum on forensic science organized by the Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”), in collaboration with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (“AGC”), the Health Sciences Authority (“HSA”) and the Singapore Police Force (“SPF”). Professionals from these organizations and their counterparts from the ASEAN countries, Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Taiwan, Ukraine and Nigeria will hear from a stellar cast of local and international speakers. They will cover a variety of topics relating to DNA, Crime Scene Investigation (popularly known as “CSI”), mass disasters, psychiatry and the role of forensics in the court process.
The keynote speaker at the conference is Dr Henry C Lee. He is one of the world’s foremost forensic scientists and has figured prominently in the O J Simpson trial as well as hundreds of other murder cases. Dr Lee will speak on famous cases involving DNA evidence and the importance of crime scene reconstruction in presenting forensic evidence in court.
Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong will be the guest of honour at the event’s opening this morning.
In summing up the significance of this event, Justice Andrew Phang, Judge of Appeal and Chairman of the Singapore Academy of Law Committee on Legal Education & Studies said, “The law does not – and cannot – function in a vacuum. The successful application of the law in court proceedings is heavily dependent on the facts as well as the extra-legal context. This is especially so in relation to criminal proceedings where reliable evidence is of the first importance. To this end, this Conference will be invaluable in demonstrating the importance of multi-disciplinary research as well as collaboration. More importantly, all professionals in the various disciplines will, I am be sure, be much better equipped after having attended the various sessions.”
During the conference, an exhibition on forensic science and its role in criminal investigations will also be held at the Supreme Court atrium. Highlights of the exhibition include:
1 A summary of recent cases involving the use of forensic evidence. It will feature unpublished photos from the Police and HSA case files.
2 A reconstruction of a crime scene by the Singapore Police Force. The SPF booth will also include demonstrations of equipment used by the police in detecting and collecting evidence at a crime scene.
3 The Health Sciences Authority will feature the following at its booth:
a. Singapore’s first Vehicle Paint Database
b. Enhanced DNA profiling on degraded DNA samples
c. HSA Customised Kits: Field Tests and Evidence Collection Kit
4 Horiba Instruments Singapore will demonstrate its latest innovation, the XGT 7000-V, a powerful x-ray equipment used in forensic labs for micro-analysis of samples.
5 CSI equipment and evidence collection products by Penta-Kohden
6 Smiths Detection (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd will demonstrate the use of Ionscan 400B, a desktop detector which can detect and identify trace amounts of explosives and narcotics in 8 seconds and the IdentifyIR, an instrument for identifying forensic samples.
The exhibition is open to the public from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm on 8 October and from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on 9 October. Admission is free.
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About Singapore Academy of Law
The Singapore Academy of Law is the umbrella body of the legal community in Singapore and has more than 7,000 members.
The Academy’s activities are driven by three strategic priorities – enhancing legal knowledge, improving efficiency of legal practice through the use of technology and supporting the legal industry. The work in each of these areas is directed towards raising the standards and quality of legal practice and building a strong legal community in Singapore.
Besides its role as the official law reporting agency in Singapore, the Academy’s other functions include providing continuing legal education for its members, legal publications, promoting legal research and scholarship, the reform and development of the law, and alternative dispute resolution.
For more details on the Singapore Academy of Law, visit www.sal.org.sg