Prints, Profiles and Templates: Adducing Biometric Evidence in Australian Courts

Marcus Smith, Gregor Urbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article discusses how Australian courts have responded to the use ofbiometric identification in criminal trials. While fingerprint and DNA evidencehas been admitted as forensic evidence to assist with human identificationfor decades; facial recognition is a more recent development, and is likely tobecome an important biometric identifier. The article begins by discussinggeneral principles relevant to adducing biometric evidence, followed by amore detailed analysis of Australian case law on fingerprint identification,DNA identification and facial and body mapping. While an overall trendtowards the acceptance of biometric identification evidence can beobserved, criticism from the judiciary, academia and government reviews willbe considered. The discussion examines standards for establishing whetherbiometric identification technology has achieved the level of scientificreliability necessary for legal admissibility, arguing that there is a need for amore rigorous and consistent approach to biometric identification evidence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-681
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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