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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-158

The Role of Forensic Examination at Trials in China

1 Cooperative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, University of Political Science and Law, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China
2 Department of Evidence Law, Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science, University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Baosheng Zhang
China Cooperative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Ministry of Education, Beijing
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5014.170604

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Expertise gains increasing acceptance and importance at trials in China. Currently, the forensic examination quality management system of China has been preliminarily established. There are problems, however, for example, laws and regulations related with forensic examination are not comprehensive, forensic institutes pursue their own economic profits excessively and judges sometime have undue blind faith in scientific evidence in fact-finding. These are hindering forensic examination from being put into full play duly. In 2005, the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on the Administration of Forensic Examination strengthened the neutrality of forensic institutes. The Criminal Procedure Law and the Civil Procedure Law revised in 2012 initially set up the expert assistant system, which is expected to break the excessively credulous but unjustified belief in scientific evidence and solve pertinent problems. We need to focus on the following aspects: First and foremost developing a unified set of rules on forensic examination; secondly, judges need to strengthen their own ability to review scientific evidence and determine its reliability; thirdly, we should actively promote fundamental legal education reform to remedy the insufficiency of legal understanding of forensic science; and finally, the existing expert assistant system must be further improved to help judges and litigants effectively to identify and use expertise.

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