City Law School academic appointed to National DNA Database Ethics Group
Professor Jennifer Temkin, director of City Law School's Forensic Science and the Legal Process course, has been appointed to the National DNA Database Ethics Group (NDDEG).
The NDDEG is an advisory non departmental public body sponsored by the Home Office. It is responsible for providing independent ethical advice on the operation of the National DNA Database.
Professor Temkin, who joined City two years ago, said:
"My membership of the NDDEG will be of great value to me as a teacher and to my students on the Forensic Science and Legal Process course which I introduced here in 2013. It will be especially helpful on issues surrounding DNA and the many other identification tools such as fingerprinting and facial mapping which are currently used by the criminal justice system."
As a member of the NDDEG, Professor Temkin will be investigating and commenting upon the expanding uses of DNA and other forensic tools from an ethical point of view, balancing the human right to privacy with considerations such as crime control and public safety.
Professor Temkin began her career as a Lecturer at the London School of Economics before moving to the University of Buckingham as Professor of Law and Dean of the Law School in 1989. In 1992, she joined the University of Sussex where she combined her research activities with teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, Evidence and Forensic Science. She has authored a number of highly regarded books including Rape and the Legal Process (1992). She co-authored Sexual Assault and the Justice Gap: A Question of Attitude (2008) which addresses social prejudices and how they are linked to what has been called the "justice gap" - the difference between the number of rapes reported and the number of convictions.
Throughout her academic career, Professor Temkin has contributed expert opinion to national reviews on the law relating to sexual offences and on the treatment of victims of rape and sexual assault by the legal system. She was an influential member of both the Pigot Committee (1988-9) which brought about the introduction of special measures to assist sexual assault victims in court and of the Home Office Sex Offences Review (1999-2000) which led to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and transformed the law on sexual offences. She was also a Member of the Expert Group on Rape and Sexual Assault, Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme for the Department of Health (2005-7). In 2010, she acted as a Peer Reviewer for the Ministry of Justice research report entitled "Providing Anonymity to Rape Defendants: An Assessment of Evidence".
Professor Temkin has delivered research related training on sexual offences to barristers, members of the judiciary, the Crown Prosecution Service and the forensic medical profession. She was awarded the degree of LLD by the University of London in 2002 and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2009.
For more information on the work of the National DNA Database Ethics Group, please visit this weblink.