First Irish Conference on Forensic Science and Human Rights

Monday, 6 April 2009

State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, will open Ireland's first conference to examine the link between forensic science and human rights on Friday, April 24 at NUI Galway. During the two-day conference, experts on war crimes, sexual violence, human identification and forensic investigations will draw on examples from countries including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Burma. Entitled 'Human Rights and Forensic Science', the conference aims to explore the current and future applications of various disciplines of forensic science to the field of human rights. Taking an interdisciplinary approach speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds including law, medicine, science and human rights. The event is being co-hosted by NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee. Delegates will be addressed by a range of notable speakers and scholars in addition to State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy. There will be presentations by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black, head of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, and Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: "The investigation of war crimes and large scale violations of human rights poses significant challenges when compared to ordinary criminal investigations. Analysis of crime base evidence and human remains is a key component in such investigations. Linking remote perpetrators to specific crimes and crime scenes requires a multidisciplinary approach involving forensic science, anthropology, and law. International experts attending this conference will provide a unique insight into the role that each discipline plays in the investigation of atrocities". The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway supports the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral level. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. The Centre of Anatomy and Human Identification is part of the internationally acclaimed School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. The unit is the most experienced in the UK regarding human identification, forensic anthropology, facial identification and the study of the human body. 'Human Rights and Forensic Science' will be of interest to law enforcement, medical and legal professionals, as well as those with an interest in human rights. For further information or to book a place contact the organisers Ms √Čadaoin O'Brien e.obrien9@nuigalway.ie or Ms Niamh Hayes niamh1@gmail.com at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Alternatively online registration is available at www.conference.ie.
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