Nessa Lynch, Liz Campbell, eds.

The Collection and Retention of DNA from Suspects in New Zealand


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12 November 2015

New Zealand was an early adopter of DNA forensic technology. It has now been 20 years since the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995 was introduced, and since then the range and power of DNA forensics, as well as the powers of the state to obtain DNA samples, have expanded rapidly, raising questions about the implications for criminal justice and human rights.

This book provides a framework for discussion of these implications, and makes recommendations for how to proceed with laws about the collection and retention of DNA samples from those suspected of committing a crime. It covers the history of the science and law underpinning the use of DNA forensic technology (including comparison with other jurisdictions); the balancing of a suspect’s rights with the public interest in reducing crime; and such issues as the DNA sampling of children and youth, familial searching, and the retention of DNA from non-convicted persons.

The Collection and Retention of DNA from Suspects in New Zealand provides a thorough and crucial foundation for ongoing consideration of this important and sensitive topic.

Dr Nessa Lynch is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law at Victoria University of Wellington. She researches and teaches in the areas of crime and justice, particularly youth justice, sentencing, and child protection.

Dr Liz Campbell is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law and Evidence at the University of Edinburgh. Her principal areas of research are criminal law and justice, with a particular interest in the legal responses to organised crime, DNA databases, and the presumption of innocence.

With contributions from Alexandra Flaus and Elena Mok.

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