Forensic Science Regulator legal guidance

Guidance on legal obligations for expert witnesses and those involved in forensic pathology investigations.

This collection includes guidance issued by the Forensic Science Regulator on dealing with legal issues which can arise in the practice of forensic science and forensic pathology.

There are 2 different classes of guidance issued by the regulator:

  • guidance on legal obligations
  • guidance on legal issues in forensic pathology and tissue retention

This applies to expert witnesses acting in the criminal justice system in England and Wales. It provides information on the requirements imposed by:

  • the statute
  • case law
  • criminal procedure rules
  • criminal practice directions

This guidance sets out a framework for those involved in the investigation of violent or suspicious death to ensure that they comply with the various legal requirements.

It gives advice on:

It also sets out how these apply to the practice of forensic pathology.

Archived guidance

This guidance is now out of date. You should only refer to these versions to find out what this guidance said at the time of a specific case.

Published 10 December 2012
Last updated 31 August 2020 + show all updates
  1. Legal issues in forensic pathology and tissue retention issue 4 guidance added and issue 3 archived.

  2. Added issue 8.

  3. Non-expert technical statements: issue 2 and expert report content: issue 4 added.

  4. New expert report content: issue 3 guidance.

  5. Legal obligations issue 6 now archived.

  6. New legal obligations issue 7 added.

  7. New expert report content guidance, issue 2.

  8. New issue 6 on legal obligations and archive of issue 5 version.

  9. Guidance on expert and non-expert reports and statements published.

  10. Legal obligations issue 5 added.

  11. Legal obligations issue 4 added.

  12. First published.