Lecture #1

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Published on 27 Sep 2011
Forensic Science
of 3
FSC 360 Lecture 1 September 6, 2011
Dr. Hisham Ragab
Rm 404 Terrance Donnelly HSC
Email: Hisham.ragab@utoronto.ca
Phone: 905-569-4259
Interaction between evidence and expert witness and its role in the court- either
civil or criminal.
What is Law?
- Rules made by gov’t are called law
- Meant to control, change our behaviour, and enforced by the courts
- Matching a certain standard?
- Is the person qualified who is presenting the evidence- expert witness for
- Acceptable evidence or not
- Technique used to collect the evidence. Standard that is validated by the
court etc
- Probability of the sample being used in the case- acceptable or not
What other goals do laws achieve?
- Carry out social policies- insurance, employment, WSIB, student loans
- Ensuring fairness- protecting individual rights and freedoms
Public Law- concerned with matters that affect society as a whole: criminal,
constitutional and administrative las.
- Set the rules for the relationshop between the individual and society or for
the roles of different gov’t
- Speed limit- controls freedom
Private Law/ civil Law- deals with the relationships between individuals. Civil laws
set rules for contracts, property ownership, transportation, the rights and
obligations of family members.
Canadian Legal System
The Constitution of Canada
- It outlines Canada’s system of government as well as the civil rights of all
Canadian citizens
- A constitution is a set of fundamental principles
- It assigns powers to the provincial and federal governments
oCriminal law
oMake laws necessary for Canada’s “peace, order and good
oTrade and commerce, banking
- This power resulted in the fed. Parliament’s creating of the Supreme Court of
- It also gives the fed parl the right to establish a court system responsible for
fed law and a general court of appeal to hear appeals of decision of both
federal and provincial courts.
Matter under provincial jurisdiction include:
- Hospitals
- Municipalities
- Education (except first nations, reserves)
The Supreme Court of Canada ( highest level in Canada) serves as the final court of
appeal in Canada. Its 9 judges represent the whole country, but 3 of them must be
from Quebec, in recognition of the civil law system. As the country’s highest court,
it hears appeals from decisions of the appeals courts in all the provinces and
territories, as well as from the fed. Court of appeal. Supreme Court judgments are
Provincial Courts-
- Try most criminal offences and in some provinces, civil cases involving small
amounts of money. Also can include youth courts, family courts, and small
claims courts. Provincial gov’t appointed judges
Superior Court
- Highest level – have the power to review the decisions of the provincial or
lower courts. Federal gov’t appoints the judges to these courts
Administrative Boards and tribunals
- Organizing bodies
- Disputes concerning such matters as broadcasting licences, employment
insurance, occ safety standards/ health regulations, may be reviewed by fed,
prov, or territorial government
- Reviewed before it goes to court
1. Supreme
2. Superior
Provincial/fed court
3. Admin Boards and tribunals
Types of Forensic Evidence used in both Civil and Criminal
- Chemical- drugs
- Biological- DNA, blood, semen
- Expert witnesses
- Computer and IT- cyber crime
- Psychological- all mental issues, behaviours
- Medical (medical mal practice)
- Forgeries
- Firearm expert- ballistics
- Anthropology – insects, bones
- Glass
- Hair and Fibre
- Forensic botany – type of plant
- Odontology- Dentist- bite marks, teeth