Article contributed by Rajeswari Gunarasa, Officer, and photos by Florence Laway, Administrative Assistant, Bar Council
The Bar Council Criminal Law Committee organised a seminar on forensic science on 5 Sept 2015, held at the Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Straits Trading Building.
This seminar was conducted by Lim Chin Chin and Chia Poh Ling — both from The Forensic Experts Group (“TFEG”), Singapore. TFEG is made up of a team of accomplished forensic scientists who were formerly from the Singapore Government forensic laboratory. These forensic scientists combine their many years of specialised knowledge, unique experience and skillsets, to deliver high quality forensic services both locally and overseas.
The first speaker for the seminar, Lim Chin Chin, is a Senior Consultant Forensic Scientist of TFEG. She has been a forensic scientist for more than 20 years and has been featured regularly as a leading forensic scientist in the media. She has co–authored and presented more than a hundred scientific papers at local symposiums and international conferences.
In the first session on “Scene Reconstruction: A Primer for Legal Practitioners”, Lim Chin Chin lectured on the fundamental aspects of reconstruction and the use of bloodstain patterns, trace and marks evidence in scene reconstruction. She explained how such evidence goes beyond identifying the perpetrator, to unveiling how events transpired by revealing critical information on the “What”, “When”, “Where” and “How” of an incident.
Case studies on the murder of eight–year–old Huang Na and the Kallang Body Parts Murder, the David Widjaja controversial suicide, and the Yishun Triple Murders were used as examples to illustrate this.
Chia Poh Ling is a Consultant Forensic Scientist of TFEG. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BSc (Hons) degree in 1999, and has 16 years of experience in forensic science. Her forensic expertise lies in the areas of fire and explosions, chemical analysis of unknown substances, and crime scene examinations.
In her session on “Fraud, Forgery and Adulterations — The Relevance of Forensics to Your Case”, Chia Poh Ling described how forensic science was used to prove forgeries on documents as well as counterfeit pharmaceuticals and everyday products. She expounded on the importance of relevance and integrity in evidence, as well as the science and methodology behind a forensic report.
The seminar, which saw attendance from both senior and budding criminal law practitioners, received positive feedback. The seminar was an interactive one, and after each session, participants worked in teams to solve critical problems in cases involving the use of forensic science. This seminar was a success and beneficial to participants, and the Criminal Law Committee hopes to schedule it again.