Lecture 5 – Forensic Science In Canada Today

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Lecture 5 Forensic Science In Canada Today
History and Structure
o Development patterns similar to UK and United States but there are
differences • will address development by three periods
Formative (1820s-1952)
Coalescent (1953-1980)
Modern (1980s)
o Dates for the development of forensic science in Canada is slightly
different than the overall field
Formative Period Highlights
o 1st use of medical practitioners to assist in determining the cause
of death 1820s
o 1859: Professor Henry Homes Croft testified at the Dr. William King
trial in Cobourg
o 1878: Dr. William H. Ellis, a student of Croft’s testified at a
rape/murder trial identifying blood and testifying to the significance
of bloodstain pattern on the clothing. He also introduced the use of
hair analysis (microscopy)
o Crime Labs formed in Quebec (1914) Ontario (1932), Regina
(1937) and Ottawa (1942)
o No formal recognized use of forensic anthropology or dentistry
Coalescent Period Highlights
o 1953: Formation of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science
o 1963: Journal for the CSFS
o Formal development of forensic anthropology and odontology in
1972 as sections of the AAFS
o Continual development and expansion of RCMP laboratories
Modern Period
o Forensic Science is dominated by DNA and the emergence of the
CFS (Northern Regional Lab)
o Accreditation standards emphasized (ASCLD and SCC)
o Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) and its role in Warrant
Legislation (DNA Warrant Act)
o Development of the RCMP National DNA Databank
o Forensic Anthropology emerges as an important area of
individuation on Canadian and international scenes (Mass disasters
and human rights violations)
Coroner and Medical Examiner Systems
o Coroner system used in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario,
Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
o Medical Examiner system used in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia
and Newfoundland
Forensic Labs in Canada as of 2006
o Ontario
Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto, 1932
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