Winner of the 2017 Walter Owen Book Prize
The clash of the scientific and legal cultures in the courtroom, though theoretically directed at finding the truth, is marked by tension. Forensic science — science applied to the legal context — advances rapidly and has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. In contrast, the law embraces finality in administering justice and struggles to change with evolving scientific knowledge. Improving the scientific literacy of the legal community, however, may help to mitigate this tension.
To that end, this guide provides criminal lawyers, defence and Crown alike, with a macroscopic view of multiple forensic science disciplines, specific to the Canadian legal system and written by Canadian experts. Facilitating further case-specific research, this guide seeks to reinvigorate dialogue and improve collaboration between the forensic and legal communities in Canada, and contribute to the effective functioning of a fair and reasonable criminal justice system.
About the authors
Caitlin M. Pakosh, HBSc, JD, has been working as case management counsel of Innocence Canada (formerly known as AIDWYC) since 2012 and is responsible for managing the Association’s cases across Canada. She obtained her honours bachelor of science degree, specializing in forensic anthropology and earning a minor in biology, from the University of Toronto Mississauga in 2008. Her undergraduate thesis, which examined the decomposition of dismembered pig limbs enclosed in plastic bags and submerged in Lake Ontario, was conducted during her internship with the Toronto Police Service Marine Unit and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2009. Ms. Pakosh obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Calgary in 2011. She has appeared in the Court of Appeal for Ontario and has worked on intervener and appellate cases, appearing at a variety of levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as ministerial review applications. Since 2013, Ms. Pakosh has cross-examined forensic science students in annual mock trials at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where students practise being expert witnesses. She is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is also an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science.
Gail S. Anderson, MPM, PhD, is a professor in forensic entomology in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU), co-director of the Centre for Forensic Research, and a forensic consultant to the RCMP and municipal police across Canada; she holds a Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professorship at SFU. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Canadian Society of Forensic Science. Dr. Anderson has been analyzing forensic entomology cases since 1988 and has testified as an expert witness in court many times. She received the Simon Fraser University Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement in 1995 and a YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Science and Technology in 1999, and was also a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award in 1999. Dr. Anderson was listed in Time magazine as one of the top five innovators in the world, this century, in the field of criminal justice and was featured on the cover. Dr. Anderson was presented with the Derome Award in 2001. She was listed as one of the 100 most influential women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun and received a Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence in 2014.
Maggie Bellis, MB, BCh, BAO, FRCP, joined the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto as a forensic pathologist in 2014, following residency training in forensic pathology at the University of Toronto. She completed a bachelor of science degree at Western University and received her medical training at the National University of Ireland, Cork. After completing residency training at the University of Toronto, Dr. Bellis received her FRCPC in anatomical pathology in 2013 and in forensic pathology in 2014. She is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario.
Hy Bloom, BA, LL.B., MD, FRCP(C) is a director of workplace.calm, inc., consultants in Workplace Conflict and Violence Prevention and Management, and is the Managing Associate of the Central Branch of the PSILEX Group, Consultants in Behavioural Sciences and the Law. He is also a part-time staff member of the Law and Mental Health Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McMaster University. Dr. Bloom received his LL.B. from McGill University in 1978, and his MD from McMaster University in 1984. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1980. He has published on a number of topics in psychiatry and the law. He has co-authored one book, Defending Mentally Disordered Persons (Toronto: Carswell, 1995), and co-edited a book, entitled A Practical Guide to Mental Health Capacity and Consent Law of Ontario (Toronto: Carswell, 1996). Dr. Bloom has served as a psychiatric consultant to a number of public and private sector organizations on the subject of workplace conflict and violence, and has lectured and written on the topic.
Vladimir (Val) Chlistovsky, BASc, CFEI, CVFI, PEng, is the practice lead of the fire group at Giffin Koerth Forensic Engineering. He is an internationally certified fire and explosion investigator and an internationally certified vehicle fire investigator. He has investigated over 600 fires, and is well-recognized as a fire investigation and electrical expert. Mr. Chlistovsky is the vice-president of the Canadian Association of Fire Investigators and holds membership with the National Association of Fire Investigators. Mr. Chlistovsky is also a professional engineer and member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. He actively participates as a technical expert and technical assessor with the Certifying Bodies and Laboratory Accreditation programs with the Standards Council of Canada. In addition to Mr. Chlistovsky’s experience in forensics, he has also spent ten years in the insurance industry working for FM Global in heavy machinery and equipment appraisal and seven years in a manufacturing setting as a production and approvals engineer.
Kristopher Cunningham, MD, PhD, FRCPC, is a forensic pathologist and cardiovascular pathologist at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto and an assistant professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cunningham has an interest in the pathology of sudden death, including structural and non-structural causes of sudden cardiac death. He helped to establish the molecular autopsy laboratory of the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (OFPS) and create a molecular autopsy program for the OFPS. Dr. Cunningham travelled as a representative of the Federal (with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) and Ontario governments to assist in disaster victim identification following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. He is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario.
Brian L. Cutler, PhD, is professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario. Professor Cutler regularly authors and edits books, chapters, and articles on forensic psychology and serves as a consultant and expert witness on eyewitness identification and false confession.
Sheila D. Early, RN, BScN, has four decades of health care experience as a registered nurse, administrator, clinician, and educator in emergency and forensic nursing. Ms. Early co-developed British Columbia’s first sexual assault nurse examiner program in 1992. She developed Canada’s first classroom-delivered Advanced Specialty Certificate in Forensic Health Sciences at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (2005). Ms. Early performed the first nurse examiner medical forensic examination in British Columbia (1994), remaining a practicing nurse examiner until 2007. Her experiences have provided her with the background to provide education to health care providers and other disciplines in forensic healthcare issues relating to violence, trauma, and crime. She has provided forensic nursing education both nationally and internationally for the past fifteen years. She has received nursing awards, including the British Columbia Institute of Technology Teaching Excellence Award (2014), the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing Alumni Nurse of Influence Award (2014), the International Association of Forensic Nurses Achievement Award (2010), the B.C. Ministry of Health “One of 150 Outstanding Nurses of BC” (2008), the Registered Nurses Association of B.C. Award of Excellence in Nursing Practice (2002), and the National Emergency Nurses Affiliation Award of Excellence in Emergency Nursing Education (1997). Ms. Early was the first non-American president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses (2014). Sheila and her husband Peter have resided in Surrey, B.C., for twenty-seven years.
Lindsay Fitzsimmons, MA, is currently a doctor of philosophy degree candidate in York University’s graduate program in clinical-developmental psychology. She has published in the area of forensic psychology on Charter protections and false confessions, and teaches Psychology & Law at York University.
Cecilia Hageman, BSc (Genetics), PhD (Plant Sciences), LLB (Western University), LLM (Osgoode Hall), is an associate member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (called to the bar in 1991) and was employed as a forensic biologist with the Centre of Forensic Sciences (CFS) in Toronto, beginning in 1991. She has been an expert witness in criminal proceedings in Ontario courts in the fields of body fluid identification, forensic DNA analysis, and bloodstain pattern analysis. She was a member of the CFS’s biology section management team from 1998 to 2013. In July 2013, she joined the Faculty of Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa as an assistant professor in UOIT’s forensic science program, where she mentors and supervises student research, and also develops and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in forensic biology, population genetics, criminalistics, and law. Her publications include C. Hageman, D. Prevett, & W. Murray, DNA Handbook, 2d ed. (Oxford: Butterworths, 2008) and K. Johnston & C. Hageman, “Blood and Bodily Substances,” in G. Chayko, et al., eds., Forensic Evidence in Canada, 2d edition (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 1999).
Sarah Harland-Logan, BA, JD, is an associate at Kapoor Barristers, a criminal defence firm in Toronto, Ontario. She obtained her bachelor of arts degree (magna cum laude) from Harvard University, where she studied English literature and health policy. During her undergraduate years she also served as special assistant to Dr. James Orbinski, past International President, Medecins Sans Frontieres. Ms. Harland-Logan earned her juris doctorate at the University of Toronto, graduating in 2014. In law school, she worked in the criminal and university affairs divisions at Downtown Legal Services, examined CSIS practices with regard to security certificates at the David Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights, and prosecuted provincial offences in Toronto and Kenora. Ms. Harland-Logan began volunteering with Innocence Canada (formerly known as the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted [AIDWYC]) in 2012 and is the principal author of the “Historical Cases” section of Innocence Canada’s website. After completing her articles at Greenspan Humphrey Lavine, she was called to the Ontario Bar in 2015 and subsequently worked as a sole practitioner focusing on Ontario Review Board disposition appeals. Ms. Harland-Logan is a member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Toronto Lawyers Association.
Liam Hendrikse, BSc (Hons), MSc (ForSci), was born in Nassau, Bahamas, and raised in the Toronto area. He graduated from McMaster University in 1995, with an honours bachelor of science degree in chemistry. In 1998, he graduated from King’s College at the University of London, with a master of science degree in forensic science. He was a British Home Office forensic scientist from 1998 until 2006, where he specialized in the examination of firearms, ammunition and related items, and crime scene and post-mortem analyses. During that time, he was a lead reporting officer for Armed Criminality, a lecturer at King’s College in forensic science, a representative at the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes and Working Groups, a registered member of the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners, a member of the Forensic Science Society, and a recipient of the first Cambridgeshire High Sheriff’s Award for Excellence in Forensic Science. He now resides in Hamilton, acting as a consultant to criminal lawyers on matters relating to firearms and ballistics, in addition to working with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on expanding, developing, and delivering their forensic science programs and courses. He is also a registered expert in firearms and ballistics both with the International Criminal Court in The Hague and the County of Los Angeles Superior Court in California.
Jayantha Herath, MD, DLM, MD (Forensic), FCAP, FRCPC (AP & FP), is a staff forensic pathologist, the medical director of the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit (Toronto) of the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, and an assistant professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He obtained his medical degree and master’s degree from the Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria (1993), and a post-graduate diploma in legal medicine and doctor of forensic medicine (2002) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He completed his residency in anatomical pathology (2010) and a fellowship in Forensic Pathology at the University of Manitoba, and obtained certification in anatomical pathology (2010) and forensic pathology (2012) from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC). Dr. Herath worked as a medical examiner for the Province of Manitoba and as an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology of the University of Manitoba before joining the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service. He worked as a senior lecturer in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the University of Colombo and as a specialist in forensic medicine in Sri Lanka before immigrating to Canada.
Wade Knaap, Toronto Police Service Det. Cst. (Retired), is a part-time faculty member in the forensic science program at the University of Toronto Mississauga where he teaches forensic science and forensic identification-related courses. Prior to this, Mr. Knaap was a detective constable with the Toronto Police Service and a forensic identification specialist in the Forensic Identification Services Unit. Mr. Knaap regularly lectures and conducts workshops at universities, colleges, and conferences throughout Canada and the United States on forensic development techniques and related topics. He is a past president of the Canadian Identification Society and a former chair of the Ontario Police College Forensic Advisory Board. Mr. Knaap is a serving member of the Forensic Advisory Committee at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and teaches a course in applied methods of forensic identification at the University of Windsor. He has been published numerous times in the Journal of Forensic Identification, Identification Canada, and the RCMP Gazette regarding forensic identification concepts. Mr. Knaap was also a contributing author in the textbook Crime and Measurement: Methods in Forensic Investigation (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011). Since 2012, Mr. Knaap has been the editor of Identification Canada (published by the Canadian Identification Society). In 2002–2003, he was the recipient of the Al Waxman Award for Excellence in the Field of Forensic Identification.
Anita Lal, MD, D-ABP, FCAP, became a staff forensic pathologist at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto in 2013 and is a lecturer in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. She obtained a medical degree at Ross University in the West Indies. She completed her residency training in anatomical and clinical pathology at Wayne State University and a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, both in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Lal was an assistant chief medical examiner at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Calgary, Alberta, and a clinical assistant professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, before taking her position in Toronto. She has testified as an expert witness in Alberta, Michigan, and Ontario. She is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario.
Patrick Laturnus, RCMP S/Sgt. (Retired), is an acclaimed forensic crime scene specialist who has been doing this work since 1975, specializing as a Bloodstain Pattern Analyst in 1990. He retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with thirty-one years of service and then became a full-time instructor at the Ontario Police College for six years. He presently works as a private consultant in Ottawa, Ontario, which entails criminal casework as well as teaching on an international basis. Mr. Laturnus was responsible for establishing a training program that has certified people as qualified bloodstain analysts not only in the province of Ontario, but also in other provinces as well as internationally. He has written several bloodstain-related articles and has appeared on radio and television to discuss his work. His international work was recognized when he was designated a Distinguished Visitor by the Government of Singapore. He is the proud recipient of the Amethyst and Ovation awards from the Government of Ontario, as well as the winner of the Foster Award, which is the highest honour bestowed by the Canadian Identification Society. The ultimate recognition, as a bloodstain analyst, was being awarded the honour of Distinguished Member of the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts.
Stéphanie B. Marion, MA, PhD, is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow conducting research at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, and at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Her research focuses on the factors that influence the accuracy and content of lay witness reports.
Rolf W. Mathewes, BSc, PhD, is currently a full professor of biological sciences, and served as associate dean of Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU) between 2000 and 2011. He received a bachelor of science degree in biology from SFU in 1969 and a doctoral degree in botany from the University of British Columbia in 1973. After a year’s postdoctoral research in Cambridge, England, he returned to British Columbia and eventually took up a faculty position in biological sciences at SFU in 1975. He has conducted paleoenvironmental research in Scotland, Western Canada, and Europe, and has researched in Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation research fellow on three occasions. In his academic career, he has been president of both the Canadian Association of Palynologists and the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists, and associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Botany and Ecoscience. He has published more than 120 scientific articles and co-edited a book on Haida Gwaii in 2005. He received the 2011 SFU Alumni Association award for academic achievement. As a forensic botanist, he has, since 1986, investigated homicide cases with the RCMP, the Vancouver Police Department, and municipal police forces, as well as non-homicide cases, including Aboriginal land claims issues.
Tim Moore, BA, PhD, is professor of psychology and chair of the Psychology Department at York University’s Glendon College, where he teaches Psychology & Law. He has served as a consultant or expert witness in dozens of criminal trials on issues related to witness reliability, investigative practices, and police undercover operations. Dr. Moore is a regular participant in various legal educational programs, including Innocence Canada (formerly known as AIDWYC), the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Ontario Bar Association, Osgoode’s Professional Development series, and the National Judicial Institute.
Michael Pickup, MSc, MD, FRCPC, obtained his medical degree and completed residency training in anatomical pathology, followed by subspecialty fellowship training in forensic pathology at the University of Toronto. He holds certification in both anatomical and forensic pathology from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Pickup is currently a staff forensic pathologist at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto, an assistant professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and an adjunct professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Western University. He has helped develop a collaborative educational initiative between the University of Toronto’s Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. He is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario, and a consultant forensic pathologist to Bermuda.
Michael S. Pollanen, MD, PhD, FRCPath, DMJ (Path), FRCPC Founder, forensic pathology, is the chief forensic pathologist of Ontario, a professor of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto, a founder of the forensic pathology program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario. He oversees the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service, and directs the Centre for Forensic Science and Medicine and the Forensic Pathology Residency/ Fellowship training programs at the University of Toronto. Dr. Pollanen has a special interest in capacity development of forensic medicine in low- and middle-income countries to support human rights and the rule of law. Dr. Pollanen has regularly published in the peer-reviewed literature. He provides second opinions on controversial cases (prosecution, defence, and reviews for other jurisdictions). He has conducted over 2,000 medicolegal autopsies, testified over 200 times in court, and has twice testified in the Ontario Court of Appeal, in the cases of Truscott (Re), 2007 ONCA 575 and R. v. Mullins-Johnson, 2007 ONCA 720.
Dan C. Purdy, BSc, FSSocDip, FCSFS, D-ABFDE, majored in mathematics and physics at the University of British Columbia and, in 1969, joined the RCMP, completing a two-year training program in forensic document examination. Mr. Purdy joined the Canadian Society of Forensic Science in 1971 and served terms as a chairperson, director, and society treasurer. He transferred to the RCMP’s Ottawa laboratory in 1979 where he became head of the RCMP’s Document Operational Support Unit and Ottawa Document Section. He received a certificate of qualification in forensic document examination from the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners in 1980 and served as its president from 1993 to 1995. In 1989, Mr. Purdy was appointed the RCMP’s chief scientist of Document Services. In 1999, Mr. Purdy commenced work in the private sector. He is a member of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (serving as president from 2004 to 2006), the American Academy of Forensic Science, and a fellow of both the Chartered Society of Forensic Science and the CSFS. In 2012, Mr. Purdy was presented with the Albert S. Osborn Award of Excellence by the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Mr. Purdy has written over thirty scientific papers; examined over 4,500 cases; and testified as an expert witness in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador, the Yukon Territory, Nunavut, Bermuda, the United States, and Hong Kong. In 2015, he received the American Academy of Forensic Science’s Award of Merit.
Ashwyn Rajagopalan, MD, FRCPC, joined the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto as a staff forensic pathologist in 2013, after completing his forensic pathology residency training at the University of Toronto. He graduated from Queen’s University with a doctor of medicine degree, and completed his residency in anatomical pathology at McMaster University. Dr. Rajagopalan is a lecturer in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. He has been a consultant to the Cayman Islands and is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario.
Steve Rogers, EnCE, A+, CNA, formerly worked in law enforcement, having retired from the RCMP in 2003 as staff sergeant in charge of the “O” Division Technological Crime Unit. He began conducting digital forensics in 1994 and was subsequently transferred to the “O” Division Technological Crime Unit. Since retiring from the RCMP, he has continued digital forensics investigations through his private investigation agency, Digital Evidence International Inc., in London, Ontario. Mr. Rogers has conducted or assisted with the examination of thousands of pieces of digital evidence in cases such as murder, fraud, proceeds of crime, theft of intellectual property, copyright, and child pornography. In Mr. Rogers’s practice, he provides unbiased and impartial analysis of digital evidence in civil matters as well as criminal matters for both the defence and law enforcement communities. He has provided expert reports, affidavit evidence, and has testified at trial for both civil and criminal matters.
Tracy Rogers, BA, MA, PhD, is the director of the Forensic Science Program at the University of Toronto Mississauga and an associate professor of anthropology. She is a forensic anthropologist who has been actively involved in case work since 1998, and is currently a consultant to the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service. Dr. Rogers has worked on cases in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia, and most notably was the primary forensic anthropologist during the investigation of serial killer Robert Pickton in 2002–2003. She has been qualified as an expert witness in the B.C. Supreme Court, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, and the Ontario Court of Justice. Her research interests involve the identification of unknown skeletal remains, including methods of estimating the age-at-death of an individual from the skeleton; skeletal sex determination; skeletal techniques for assessing the ancestry/biogeographical origin of the deceased; and positive identification of unidentified human remains. Related topics include factors influencing skeletal health, the study of juvenile skeletons, and trauma analysis. She also researches the application of new technologies to the documentation and analysis of outdoor crime scenes and clandestine graves, including 3D methods of capturing data that are both geospecific and quantifiable.
Toby H. Rose, MD, FRCPC, is the deputy chief forensic pathologist of the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service and works at the Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit in Toronto. Dr. Rose received a bachelor of science degree and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and trained in anatomical pathology at the University of Toronto. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in anatomical pathology, a Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology in both Anatomical and Forensic Pathology, and assistant professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. She has performed more than 5,000 medicolegal autopsies and has given expert testimony in courts in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut. Dr. Rose is an investigative coroner for homicides and criminally suspicious deaths in Ontario.
Vincenzo Rondinelli, LLB (Osgoode), LLM (Osgoode), is a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto. He has appeared at all levels of the courts including the Supreme Court of Canada and argues appeals regularly before the Ontario Court of Appeal. He joined the adjunct faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003 and is currently co-director of the Criminal Intensive Program and co-instructor in the Forensic Science & the Law course. He is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in criminal law.
Daniel M. Scanlan, BA, LLB, has been with the Criminal Justice Branch since 1999 and is currently assigned to the Prosecution Support Unit where he specializes in issues related to digital evidence, search and seizure, and wiretaps. His litigation practice is focused on cases with cyber crime or electronic evidence issues. He teaches a course on electronic evidence to B.C. Crown counsel and has been responsible for policy on electronic disclosure, electronic evidence, and related issues. Mr. Scanlan acts as a resource person to B.C. police in his fields. He has authored a book entitled Digital Evidence in Criminal Law (Toronto: Canada Law Book, 2011). He has in the past prosecuted cases of assault, murder, fraud, and assisted suicide. Mr. Scanlan provided advice to police on investigations regarding child pornography, Internet luring, computer hacking, and wiretap evidence. Prior to joining the Victoria office, he was a prosecutor with the federal Department of Justice from December 1992, and was in private practice prior to that with the firm of Singleton Urquhart in Vancouver.
Richard D. Schneider, BSc, MA, PhD, LLB, LLM, CPsych, is Chairman of the Ontario Review Board and a Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice. He was previously a criminal defence lawyer and certified clinical psychologist. The Honourable Mr. Justice Schneider was counsel to the Ontario Review Board from 1994 to 2000, and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in criminal litigation. His private practice was generally limited to the representation of mentally disordered accused. Justice Schneider is also an adjunct professor with the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, and an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Law, both at the University of Toronto. He was named honorary president of the Canadian Psychological Association in 2002. He is presently the alternate chairperson of the Nunavut Review Board. Prior to becoming chair of the Ontario Review Board, a great deal of his time was spent presiding at the Mental Health Court in Toronto. Major research interests are competency and criminal responsibility. Justice Schneider has published extensively in the area of mental disorder and the law.
David Sweet, OC, DMD, PhD, DABFO, FICD, FACD, is the associate dean of students and a tenured professor of oral diagnosis and forensic odontology at the University of British Columbia. He is director of the BOLD Forensic Laboratory, a unique resource dedicated to full-time forensic dentistry research, casework, and graduate teaching. This is the place where laboratory discoveries and modern forensic science methods are applied to dental evidence to assist in the resolution of legal issues. Since the laboratory opened in 1996, Dr. Sweet has been involved in over 1,000 high-profile criminal cases. He has developed new techniques that are now used internationally by forensic investigators. In 2008, Dr. Sweet was appointed an officer of the Order of Canada for his work as a forensic scientist, researcher, teacher, and consultant. Dr. Sweet was chief scientist for disaster victim identification at INTERPOL in France from 2005 to 2011 and a forensic advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Switzerland from 2009 to 2012.
Sherah VanLaerhoven, BSc, MPM, PhD, received her doctor of philosophy degree (2001) from the University of Arkansas in entomology, and master of policy management degree (1997) and bachelor of science degree in biology (1995) from Simon Fraser University, B.C. Dr. VanLaerhoven is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Windsor. She is a past president of the North American Forensic Entomology Association and currently serves on the board of directors for the Canadian Society of Forensic Science. She has served on the board of directors for the entomological societies of British Columbia and Ontario. She is a Board Certified Entomologist (BCE); a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Entomology (D-ABFE); and a consultant and expert witness for police, medical examiners/coroners, and lawyers in Canada and internationally, including the high-profile cases R. v. Truscott and R. v. Baltovitch. Her research in forensic entomology focuses on causes and mechanisms for variability in arrival patterns of insects on bodies and testing current assumptions regarding the behaviour of forensically relevant insects. Her work has been featured numerous times in different media including Discovery Channel, Discovery Magazine, the Globe and Mail, NPR, and CBC Radio. She was awarded Canada’s Top 40 under 40 (2006) and the C. Gordon Hewitt Medal (2009).
James Watterson, PhD, F-ABFT, is an associate professor in the Department of Forensic Science at Laurentian University. He obtained his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from McGill University and his master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees, both in analytical chemistry, from the University of Toronto. Dr. Watterson worked as a forensic toxicologist at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto before joining the faculty at Laurentian University. He is a consulting forensic toxicologist and a fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (F-ABFT). He is cross-appointed to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and the biomolecular sciences program at Laurentian University.
Alison Weir, PhD, is an associate professor, teaching stream statistics at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). She obtained her bachelor of mathematics from the University of Waterloo, her master of science degree in statistics from the University of London, UK, and her doctor of philosophy degree in statistics from the University of Toronto. Her interests include applied statistics, particularly modern non-parametric methodologies. She is also interested in statistical literacy, an increasingly important advantage for professionals operating in today’s technological data-heavy world. Dr. Weir designed and implemented a UTM course in statistics for forensic sciences and she has helped numerous forensic science students with their fourth-year projects. Dr. Weir has a passion for assisting lawyers in understanding the statistics underlying the forensic sciences. She enjoys working as a consultant and hopes that her future work with legal professionals will help to strengthen statistical literacy in the court system.
James G. Wigmore worked as a forensic alcohol toxicologist at one of the foremost forensic laboratory in North America — the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto, Ontario — for over twenty-nine years. He has testified in over 700 criminal cases throughout Canada, in personal injury civil cases, coroner’s inquests, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario hearings, and a military court martial in Germany. He has published numerous scientific studies in this area, which have been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada (R v St. Onge-Lamoreux, 2012). In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Derome Award from the Canadian Society of Forensic Science in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of forensic science. Between 2004 and 2012, he taught on the Robert F. Borkenstein Course at Indiana University in Bloomington. He has presented many seminars and alcohol workshops to numerous medicolegal organizations, including the Ontario Crown Attorneys, the California DUI Lawyers Association, the Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (Texas), the Osgoode Hall Law School (York University), and at various judges’ meetings.
- Winner, Walter Owen Book Prize
The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences, edited by Caitlin Pakosh…is an ambitious work that introduces readers to the key forensic sciences used in Canadian courts. … [It] provides a useful, accessible, and comprehensive introduction to the forensic sciences and their use in Canadian courts. This book is recommended for law students, criminal lawyers, and more generally to people interested in the forensic sciences and the law.
Goldwynn Lewis, Canadian Law Library Review 42:3 (2017)
Bravo to Irwin for providing yet another work which will prevent flawed forensic science and inadequacies in the court process from yielding miscarriages of justice — and bravo to Pakosh, and her contributors, for providing us — not just defence lawyers, but prosecutors, expert witnesses and judges as well, no matter in which country they happen to reside — with such an array of helpful tools for avoiding wrongful convictions. It’s a worthy goal for all of us.
Harold Levy, The Charles Smith Blog