I am sorry to report that Dr Greg Canning is unable to join us at the London conference. A few days ago he sent me an email with the following, which he has cleared me to publish:
Unfortunately 2016 is not playing out the way I would have liked and due to a succession of family, practice and health issues I have decided reluctantly to forego attending the ICMI. Of course this means you will be less one presentation and I am sorry for that, but heartened by the extensive line up of speakers you have attracted. I wish you every success with the conference.
With best wishes
We hope that the various issues are resolved to Greg’s satisfaction, and thank him for letting us know in good time.
From the disappointing news to the good news. We have a speaker to take Greg’s place, Professor Martin Evison, Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science. His talk title will be, ‘Ideology as a threat to due process and the presumption of innocence’.
Martin is an expert in forensic human identification, and has contributed to a variety of criminal and humanitarian investigations. He has published research on the pattern of fatalities in forensic anthropology cases, whether due to homicide, suicide or other causes, and also researched and given evidence on facial image comparison from CCTV.
I asked Martin for a few words for this blog post, and he sent this:
Forensic science is ‘science in the service of the Courts’ and is meant to offer reliable physical evidence that can help the jury make decisions regarding disputed facts and the guilt or innocence of the accused.
Forensic science is also expected to support crime reduction and prevention. My academic and professional work has made me aware of the considerably disproportionate number of male fatalities in criminal, coronial and humanitarian cases, and to consider what policies might address these public health problems.
I have also become aware of wrongful convictions arising from the improper use of forensic evidence, particularly following moral panics. The rise of digital evidence—such as from social media and CCTV—raises new issues and new risks.
Due process, the presumption of innocence, and equality before the law are core principles of English and other Common Law jurisdictions. I am worried we seem to believe Anglo-American culture is immune from the fate of societies that abandon legal principles for ideologically-motivated policies.
I have found it very difficult to sensibly debate gender-related and other justice or educational policies in academia—even scholarly ‘disinterest’ involves questioning Marxist-feminist orthodoxy—and having lived for five years in Ontario, Canada—I feel immensely encouraged by the work of CAFE, Professor Janice Fiamengo and others who are actively and thoughtfully addressing serious problems facing men and boys—and hence society as a whole, regardless of personal and professional consequences for them.