Advanced DNA interpretation
Given activity level propositions
Online course – October 2021 to November 2022
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DNA reporting officers with experience in writing statements given sub-source level propositions. Participants are expected to have a good theoretical and practical background in probabilistic reasoning, as well as up-to-date knowledge in the field of evaluation of DNA profile comparisons.
This advanced online course focuses on how to assess biological results given activity level propositions in order to promote a safe administration of justice. It is designed to train practitioners in the most up-to-date approaches to the evaluation of biological results. The content is based on the use of likelihood ratios, an approach that is supported by the International Society of Forensic Genetics, and a variety of reference documents, guidance notes and standards, across jurisdictions.
The course relies on the use of Bayesian networks (BN) for the probabilistic evaluation of biological results, when the issue regards not so much the source of the DNA, but the activities from which it resulted.
The course team also offers two other online short courses: Essentials of DNA interpretation, a first approach of DNA interpretation, and Essentials of forensic interpretation. In addition to these short courses, a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Statistics and the Evaluation of Forensic Evidence is proposed to forensic practitioners willing to acquire a comprehensive training.
- Have a solid theoretical and practical background in probabilistic and statistical reasoning
- Be able to address DNA casework given activity level propositions
- Be able to explain evaluative reasoning in Court and feel at ease with expert debate and the published literature
- Have specialized and up-to-date knowledge in the field of evaluation of forensic biological results when accounting for transfer, persistence, recovery and prevalence of biological trace material
- Have acquired skills in written communication on how to convey the value of biological results when propositions refer to activities
1. REVISITING UNCERTAINTY IN FORENSIC SCIENCE AND PROBABILISTIC INFERENCE
- Laws of probability
- Hierarchy of propositions and principles of forensic interpretation
2. EVALUATION USING BAYESIAN NETWORKS (BNs): GENERAL ASPECTS AND SOFTWARE FUNCTIONALITIES
- Capturing probabilistic reasoning through BNs
- Methodology for constructing BNs
3. CASE PRE-ASSESSMENT
- Management of cases and needs
- Use of BNs for case pre-assessment
4. ASSESSING THE ABSENCE OF (MATCHING) DNA
- Use of likelihood ratio formula
5. EVALUATION OF TRACES RECOVERED ON A VICTIM OR A CRIME SCENE
- Cases studies and examples
6. EVALUATION OF TRACES RECOVERED ON A SUSPECT
- Cases studies and examples
7. COMBINING RESULTS IN (ALLEGED) SEXUAL OFFENCE CASES
- Preliminary tests, differential extraction, DNA profiles
8. CASE STUDIES
- Certificate of participation
- 5 ECTS credits
- For academic questions: email@example.com
Dates and schedule
The course is offered on a yearly basis. Spread over 13 months, this 150-hour course represents an average workload of 4 hours per week. Holidays and breaks are included, to offer flexibility.
Fill in the online registration form and upload your CV and copies of your diplomas online.
4,500.- Swiss Francs * (including a time-limited version of a Bayesian networks software)
* 10% special discount for all participants who take a second course given by the committee
September 3, 2021