Oleksandr Shmereho, the Head of the Department for Research in Life Safety, Fire Technical and Electrical Engineering Research of KFI became the author of the material in the production and practical journal “Emergency Situation +”. The publication publishes relevant materials in the field of civil protection, fire and technogenic safety and life safety of all spheres of human activity. The expert from KFI shared his thoughts on the development of Ukrainian forensic expertise, and also stressed the importance of forensic expert activity as a component of effective justice.
Today one of the main tasks of the state is the improvement of the legal institutions for the protection of human rights. Ukraine’s Euro integration obliges it to significantly strengthen the role of justice, the effectiveness of which depends, in particular, on the proper mechanism of proof. It is known that that during the consideration of cases of any jurisdiction, there is often a need for the application of special knowledge and the appointment of forensic expertise. Forensic examination is a specific type of examination, it has a special status. Its similarity with other examinations is that it is a procedural form of using specialized knowledge in legal proceedings, as a result of which new information appears that can have evidentiary value and cannot be obtained by other procedural means.
Forensic examination is an important component of effective justice
Forensic examination is a procedural action consisting in carrying out the research and providing the opinion of the forensic expert on the issues raised to him by the prosecution party, the party of defense, the investigating judge, the court, the state executor whose decision requires the application of special knowledge in the field of science, technology, art, crafts, etc. The development of forensic examination as an institution of evidentiary and procedural law and proper expert provision of justice at the national level cannot occur without scientific discussions and appropriate scientific developments combining the thoughts of theorists and the practical experience of experts. One of the leading institutions in this field is Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as KFI).
HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE
KFI is one of the oldest state expert institutions of Ukraine, created on July 4, 1913 as the Cabinet of Scientific and Forensic Expertise under the Prosecutor of the Kyiv Court Chamber. For more than 100 years of history, it has passed a difficult path of formation and development and has become one of the leading institutions of forensic expert support of law enforcement bodies, pre-trial investigation and judges.
There are more than 300 forensic experts in the staff of Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise
In 1925, the Cabinet was reorganized into the Institute of Scientific and Forensic Expertise, which is staffed by specialists from different fields of knowledge – lawyers, chemists, biologists, physicians, physicists, psychiatrists, etc. The priority direction in these years is research work, in which the importance of identifying firearms, microphotography, determining blood group membership, toxicological analysis, the development of methods for the destruction of organic substances and the determination of alkaloids, and the development of theoretical questions of criminalistics.
In the 50’s and 60’s the Institute developed highly sensitive physical and chemical methods for investigating physical evidence in order to determine the nature of substances, their common group affiliation and a single source of origin, the methods of comparative analysis of medicinal compounds, soil samples, etc., as well as the identification and also determining the marks of a shot from close distance.
Since 1964, KFI has become the main institution for publishing the interdepartmental scientific and methodological collection “Criminalistics and Forensics”, which highlights the problems of the theory of criminalistics and forensic expertise, tactics and methods for investigating certain types of crimes, improving the development of new and existing methods of conducting various kinds of forensic examinations.
In the late 80’s, new laboratories were created: commodity research, construction, technical, forensic, computer, phonoscopic and laser research.
Today, the Institute is one of the leading forensic institutions, where an experienced team of well-known scientists, professionals in the field of forensic expertise, having the qualifications necessary for conducting most types of expert research.
Since the moment of formation, KFI provides on a high scientific and methodological level, the activity of courts of all levels, the investigative bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, the prosecutor’s office, customs authorities and other agencies whose tasks cover the full range of forensic, traditional and new types of forensic expertise.
Especially popular are examinations concerning the research of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their analogues and precursors; computer-technical and handwriting expertise, forensic examination of documents.
Some types of forensic examinations are mainly conducted only in forensic expert institutions of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine:
- Examination on determining the author;
- Psychological examination;
- Construction and technical examination;
- Environmental examination;
- Land and technical exanimation;
- Road and technical examination;
- Railway examination;
- Life safety examination.
Experts of the Institute conduct examinations in the field of telecommunication systems and facilities, when the topical issues related to unauthorized access to telecommunication systems and individual information resources.
IMPROVEMENT OF ACTIVITIES
KFI actively conducts work on accreditation of forensic laboratories for compliance with international standards.
In 2015, the Institute introduced new types of expertise, namely military and psychological expertise. In addition, special attention should be paid to such areas of expertise as:
- Fire and technical;
- life safety.
It is these examinations that make it possible to conduct qualitative and complete investigations of emergencies arising in Ukraine. Also, one of the main activities of the Institute is research work aimed at increasing the effectiveness of scientific research in the field of forensic examination, the development of theoretical, procedural issues of forensic examination, as well as methods and methods of forensic examination, taking into account the modern achievements in science and technology.
The Institute carries out examinations in 94 expert specialties
The Institute has an international reputation as an active developer of new methods of research of physical evidence. Employees of the Institute take an active part in Ukrainian and international symposiums, conferences, seminars, in conducting commission examinations jointly with experts from other expert institutions of Ukraine and other countries.