Terms of reference

1.   To identify and consider the ethical, social and legal issues raised by current and potential future uses of bioinformation for forensic purposes.

2.   To consider, in particular:

a) the interpretation of the information;

b) the collection, storage and retention of profiles and samples;

c) issues of informed consent, privacy and confidentiality in the light of data protection and human rights legislation;

d) arguments for and against population-wide forensic databases;

e) access to and use of forensic databases for purposes of research;

f) admissibility and use of bioinformation in criminal proceedings;

g) sharing of bioinformation for forensic purposes across international boundaries;

h) use for forensic purposes of bioinformation collected for non-forensic purposes; and

i) governance of research conducted by or for forensic laboratories.

3.   To identify the ethical and legal principles and procedures which should govern the forensic use of bioinformation, and to make recommendations.

4 To draft a report on these issues.

Previous work

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Nuffield Council on Bioethics
28 Bedford Square
London, WC1B 3JS

Tel: +44 (0)20 7681 9619

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