I recently published an editorial in the Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science.  Two versions were published almost simultaneously (the original written in English and a translation in French) entitled, respectively, “CSFS Document Section Position on the Logical Approach to Evidence Evaluation and Corresponding Wording of Conclusions” and “La position de la Section des documents de la SCSJ sur l’approche logique de l’évaluation de la preuve et le libellé des conclusions”.

I wrote these in my capacity as the sitting chairman of the Documents section of the CSFS, on behalf of the members of that section.  The impetus for writing them was to introduce the “logical approach” and related topics to the Canadian forensic community in a ‘formal’ way (hopefully resulting in ongoing discussion) and to provide the public and the courts with the perspective of forensic practitioners who have reviewed the literature and studied this issue in depth. To that end, the document references many initiatives relating to the topic. I will note that it’s not a perfect document but it covers the main points reasonably well.

Please note that this position paper was first written a few years ago.  There was considerable delay in publication relating to the production of an acceptable French-language translation of the document. I must thank Julie Binette who was invaluable in that process. The delay, however, means the references provided in the paper are not fully up-to-date with the very latest developments in this area.

Nonetheless, that shortcoming doesn’t detract from the position expressed.  Today there is even more support and justification than is outlined in the paper. 

CSFS Document section members have already seen at least the English language version, since it was sent out for discussion/approval by members of the section prior to publication. 

The abstract, in English, reads:

This article presents the position of the Document Section of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science (CSFS) regarding the use of an evaluation and reporting scheme often referred to as “the logical approach to evidence evaluation.” The section’s position is the logical approach to evidence evaluation and reporting, and is an appropriate and effective option for forensic document examination (FDE) work when implemented as outlined in this paper.

To access the English language version please click here.

The abstract, en français, reads:

Ce document présente la position de la Section des documents de la Société canadienne des sciences judiciaires (SCSJ) concernant l’utilisation d’un système d’évaluation et de transmission des résultats souvent appelé « l’approche logique de l’évaluation des éléments de preuves ». La position de cette section est que l’approche logique pour l’évaluation et la transmission des résultats soit une option appropriée et efficace pour l’examen judiciaire de documents lorsqu’il est mis en oeuvre tel qu’indiqué dans ce document.

To access the French language version please click here.


If you have any questions or comments (or would like one of the limited e-print copies), please contact me or post a reply here.

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