'Non-Conviction' DNA Databases and Criminal Justice: A Comparative Analysis

Elizabeth Jane Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Common law countries share a growing receptiveness to the use of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in criminal investigation and prosecution, with the formalisation and steady expansion of schemes of DNA collection and retention. Despite a general consensus regarding the significance and value of genetic material in criminal justice, there is considerable divergence in terms of the populations from whom DNA may be collected and the length of time for which DNA may be retained. This article takes a comparative approach by assessing the trajectory of the law relating to DNA collection and retention in a range of common law jurisdictions, and ascertains how aspects of particular countries¿ laws seek to resolve common problematic issues that arise concerning human rights, in particular the rights to bodily integrity, of privacy and the presumption of innocence. It identifies a common international movement to a risk-based approach and concludes that of the comparator jurisdictions the Canadian model provides the most fitting accommodation for human rights in DNA database expansion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Commonwealth Criminal Law
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

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