Story on 7.30 tonight questions use of forensic facial recognition evidence in Australian courts

In tonight’s interesting and important story about the poor evidence-base of a lot of the forensic science and expert witnesses in Australian courts of law, Associate Professor Richard Kemp is interviewed, and he questions the scientific standards of people claiming the status of experts in the areas of forensic facial recognition and body mapping, as is applied to interpreting images photographed from CCTV and mobile phones.

I found this report particularly of interest, as I’ve been wondering if the abilities of super-recognizers might one day be given sufficient testing and scientific recognition that they (we?) might be able to work as expert witnesses in the courts. I realise that such experts would be different to the established concept of the legal expert witness in that it would not be a body of knowledge that the superrecogniser would offer, but a scientifically validated ability or talent. As long as the upper spectrum of human face recognition ability is superior to the performance of facial recognition technology, which it apparently currently is, the human face recognition specialist should still have more credibility before the law than the latest whiz-bang computer software.

CSI Effect questions forensic evidence. 7.30. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Broadcast: 03/05/2012. Reporter: Deborah Cornwall http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3495060.htm

 

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