gether_than_thou (gethrees) wrote in about_science,

CFP: From Crime Prevention to Securing Convictions: Terrains in Legal Expertise.

Wow, I didn't know that this community had grown so much - as you can see I'm a very good maintainer.

Anyway, apologies for such short notice but this is a notice for a Call For Papers for a session at the forthcoming 4S/EASST conference in Rotterdam in August. The CfP states this coming Friday but if you are interested in submitting an abstract get in touch before Friday and we can come to some arrangement about when you can get an abstract to me.

CFP: From Crime Prevention to Securing Convictions: Terrains in Legal

Whilst the appropriation of a scientific method to criminal
investigation is nothing new, one only has to think back to the
investigations carried out by Arthur Conan Doyle and his fictional
hero Sherlock Holmes as evidence of this, there does appear to be
something of a renewed emphasis upon science, technology and medicine
in aiding the police and other prosecutors to secure convictions.
These new languages of police science and technology are being
popularized by high-profile television shows and popular literature
that focus on police work with special attention to the role of
experts in police sciences. From the science of forensics to the role
of profiling, these popular representations (however inaccurate) are
acting to educate the public about policing practice and the role of
experts in investigations and prosecutions with potentially
troubling prospects.

In this session we wish to do away with these popular narratives of
forensic work and focus on the more mundane, everyday aspects of
expert practice(s) in policing and prosecution. Within the courts,
experts are used to establish the intentionality of rape, the scope of
homicide and abuse as well as a host of other offences. Outside the
legal setting, the role of expertise can be traced out in the
preventative actions individuals take so as to avoid being
detected/profiled as potential perpetrators. Following prosecution or
incarceration, policing expertise continues as individuals consent to
invasive techniques of surveillance and/or medicalization so as to
avoid further legal scrutiny as a means to affirm non-criminal intentions in their daily
life to prevent further incarceration. From prevention to punishment,
both inside and outside the courtroom, experts are producing new
terrains for not only for jurists, police officers, victims, witnesses
but also members of the public.

From gang prevention activities to jury testimony, this panel will
consider the production and consumption of expertise; how it is constructed, made
visible and the role it takes in the legal arena. From the handling
of witnesses to trace material and bodily inscriptions, police
practitioners and their technologies are effectively co-producing
everyday classifications of consent, intent, homicide, suicide etc.
whilst also reinforcing their own expertise.

We encourage a broad range of papers that are thinking about the role
of expertise and the production of expert knowledge in policing
practices and prosecution. Please submit a 400 word abstract by
February 10, 2008 to Michelle Stewart ( and Geth
Rees (

Please forward to anyone who may be interested.
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