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DNA inquiry given December deadline

The Commission of Inquiry into DNA testing at the Government-run Forensic and Scientific Services has been tasked with delivering its report on 13 December.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk last week announced the report’s scheduled deadline while releasing the inquiry’s terms of reference.

Ms Palaszczuk said that, while the deadline had been set for December, the inquiry’s Commissioner – former Court of Appeal President Justice Walter Sofronoff – had the discretionary power of delivering an interim report.

The commission will examine:

  • whether the methods, systems and processes used by the Queensland Police Service, and the Forensic and Scientific Services for forensic Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) collection, testing and analysis are, and have been, reliable, conducted in accordance with best international practice, and result in, and have resulted in, accurate reporting of the presence of DNA in samples submitted for testing and accurate matching of DNA samples
  • whether, if such methods, systems or processes are not, or have not been, reliable, or conducted in accordance with best international practice, or do not result, or have not resulted, in accurate reporting or accurate matching, the reasons for any such failure.

Ms Palaszczuk said it would be up the commission to choose the cases it wished to examine during the inquiry.

“Serious issues have been raised,” she said. “The people of this State must have confidence in the reliability of results from the lab.”

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