Fascinating new book released on Forensic Investigation

Nov 10, 2015 | 2015, News

Because a case in court in only as good as the investigation that has been conducted by the police, this book is set to play a significant role in ensuring that current and future generations of investigators remain in tune with the challenges and changes in policing and the prosecution of crime.” -Advocate Gerrie Nel

This comprehensive book expertly combines aspects of the natural, social and human sciences with the management skills required for the investigation and prosecution of crime.  The editors write:

Forensic investigation … is broadly defined as an in-depth, meticulous search for the truth through the use of specialised skills and expert knowledge and the application of scientific investigation methods and techniques, with the aim to lawfully discover, collect, prepare, identify and present evidence in a court of law or to a disciplinary council, instructing client or company.”

The field of forensic investigation has grown significantly in South Africa over the past few years.  Investigations are now also undertaken by private and corporate bodies, and by government institutions other than the South African Police Service.

Forensic investigation is a continually evolving science, which must be conducted within the legal ambit of the Constitution.

The team of expert contributors bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to every chapter, moving from the scene of the incident, to the laboratory, to the courtroom.  Sophisticated aspects, such as medica-legal evidence, DNA analysis imprints, firearms, disputed documents, offender profiling, cellphone data, and cybercrime are dealt with in detail.  Case studies, full colour illustrations, a glossary of terms and tables of relevant cases and legislation, all contribute to making this well-organised and indexed volume accessible.

The chapter on developments in forensic technology ensures that current and future investigators are made fully aware of the challenges and changes in the investigation of crimes, incidents and transgressions.  Each chapter contains references for further research and reading.

The editors, contributors, Juta Law Publishers, with the backing of the University of South Africa, the South African Police Service, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and others, are to be commended for their production of a truly exceptional, invaluable and essential resource for all investigators, legal practitioners and judicial officers.

Review by Louis Rood BA LLB (UCT), Chairman of Fairbridges Werheim Becker


Legislative Principles and Investigative Practice by Rudolph Zinn & Setlhomamaru Dintwe (Editors) (537 pages)

Juta & Co (Pty) Ltd