- •A model for reporting forensic genetic results to the court is presented.
- •The model has been designed for common identity and kinship cases.
- •Consensus among a large number of experts has been reached.
- •Extension to more complex kinship situations is exemplified.
Communicating and interpreting genetic evidence in the administration of justice is currently a matter of great concern, due to the theoretical and technical complexity of the evaluative reporting and large difference in expertise between forensic experts and law professionals. A large number of initiatives have been taken trying to bridge this gap, contributing to the education of both parties. Results however have not been very encouraging, as most of these initiatives try to cope globally with the problem, addressing simultaneously theoretical and technical approaches which are in a quite heterogeneous state of development and validation. In consequence, the extension and complexity of the resulting documents disheartens their study by professionals (both jurists and geneticists) and makes a consensus very hard to reach even among the genetic experts’ community. Here we propose a ‘back-to-basics’, example-driven approach, in which a model report for the two most common situations faced by forensic laboratories is presented. We do hope that this strategy will provide a solid basis for a stepwise generalisation.
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Published online: September 07, 2016
Accepted: September 2, 2016
Received in revised form: June 30, 2016
Received: April 21, 2016
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