– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
Several steps must be followed in the criminal justice system to ensure justice is served legally and ethically. Many people are misguided by the media today and have assumptions on how to go about navigating the justice system. UKZN Extended Learning’s Certificate in Forensic Investigation Techniques programme, debunks these incorrect assumptions and equips delegates to undertake forensic investigations with an appreciation of law, forensic auditing, investigation techniques and the ethical implications. Considering the time and energy consumed by the process, it is no wonder society is reluctant in trusting the line of justice. However, as a result of technology, the operation of the judiciary system has developed substantially, and new techniques have been remarkably incorporated into crime-solving processes.
On the 12th of September UEL hosted a diverse group of delegates to upskill them in the area of Forensic Investigation Techniques. The purpose of this programme is to capacitate law enforcement officials to better document and gather any evidence that would assist with building their case. Moreover, perfecting their analysis of information and evidence to ensure that it is credible and intact. This form of investigation aims to find out what happened by correctly interpreting the facts, reconstructing events, and understanding exactly what happened.
Professor Shaun Kruger, a facilitator on the programme, stated: “It is imperative that forensic investigators have the ability to gather evidence and the ability to testify in a court of law. This is a skill that is often overlooked. Forensic investigators also need to know how effectively unpack information for clients and present information as well as expert witness testimony in court.”
The reliability of the information trail and the preservation of its integrity depends to a large extent on the first actions taken when an incident occurs. There are several guiding principles that can be observed to ensure the integrity of evidence with very limited resources. Therefore, professionalism and care are imperative throughout the investigation process if the evidence is to be admissible in court. The Certificate in Forensic Investigation Techniques programme addresses the possible gap in the effective compilation of resources to be presented in court. These skills and resources can be used by law enforcement to carry out their duties effectively. Among the objectives of the modules are to increase awareness of the importance of ethical practices in legal investigations and the nature and importance of evidence. As a result, it allows more evidence-based reconstructions of events to be performed.
Detection and recovery of evidence are two of the first duties of forensic science services when a crime is committed. As part of the process, the results are analysed and evaluated by the relevant legal entities. The findings are presented to members of the justice system such as judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials, who need the factual data. A thorough understanding of forensic procedures and specialised services should be a key competency by all individuals involved.
To find out more information our Certificate in Forensic Investigation Techniques, please click here.
You can also contact us directly for more information on the programme:
T: +27 31 260 1234