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What is an expert witness

The role of the expert witness An expert witness may be anyone who holds specialist knowledge or experience in a field or discipline considered to be beyond the ken of …

A tour of the court

Meet Dr Ann Priston who will give you a tour of a crown court and teach you more about court procedure.

Criminal Law in England and Wales

Why do we not say ‘law in the United Kingdom’? It is in fact the Law of England and Wales only, although the law in Scotland and in Northern Ireland …

Further areas of study

After completing this module you should now have an idea of some of the key concepts which underpin forensic chemistry. However it is important to remember that this is just …

Overview of mass spectrometry analysis

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an instrumental technique that is used to determine the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of an ion. The measurement of the m/z can provide structural information about a …

Thin Layer Chromatography

Separation of complex mixtures (known as chromatography) is an essential tool in forensic science. It is routinely used to identify and compare samples of drugs, explosives, inks and biological samples …

Chemical Spot tests

The analytical approach in forensic chemical analysis of an unknown substance is to narrow down the possibilities until a drug is identified. After visual examination, presumptive or screening tests are …

Fingerprints

A fingerprint is the impression left from the friction ridges on the tip of a finger beginning at week 10 of the gestation period in the human foetal development. During …

Physical Characteristics

Chain of Custody (CoC) The CoC is designed to prove sample integrity by chronologically documenting custody from seizure/collection through to control, storage, transfer, analysis and destruction, to standards that can …

Skilled scientists and instruments

Forensic chemistry usually relates to the identification (and sometimes quantification) of unknown substances linked to crime, and must be performed to a legally defensible standard. To achieve this, a wide …