Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine is the oldest expert institution in Ukraine, which for 105 years has stood guard over justice, protection of state interests, legal rights, and freedoms of citizens.
In its activities, Institute pursues a policy of approximation to European and international standards in the field of justice, which is extremely important and relevant today. Unfortunately, there are no national standards in Ukraine in a certain field of forensic expert activity. That is why the Institute proposes to introduce a system of national standards in the field of forensic science, initiating the creation of a technical committee for standardization of “Forensic Sciences”.
Within the framework of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2012, the International Technical Committee for Standardization ISO/TC 272 “Forensic sciences” (hereinafter – ISO/TC 272) was established.
Today, the issues of standardization of forensic examination and forensic activity are extremely important and relevant not only in Ukraine but around the world. The impetus for deepening international cooperation in the field of forensic science and further planning for the development of forensic science standards was the joint work of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise experts and foreign colleagues to investigate a number of high-profile events.
This is, first, an international comprehensive examination in the criminal proceedings initiated by the crash of a Boeing 777 passenger plane flight MH-17, which occurred in July 2014 over the territory of the Donetsk region and killed 298 people. Forensic experts of the Institute were members of the international expert commission. In addition, the Institutes’ experts conducted comprehensive forensic examinations related to hostilities in eastern Ukraine, armed aggression against our country, crimes against national security, Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and support for separatist actions. The results of research, the conclusions of forensic examinations of the Institute’s experts will be presented as evidence of aggression and war crimes for consideration by international courts and tribunals (UN International Tribunal in The Hague), which requires examinations according to European and international standards, improving their structure and registration of research results. (A significant number of methods of expert research, the approach to work with physical evidence remained from the former USSR, they are morally outdated, do not meet the requirements of today, and need immediate improvement and replacement).
The above indicates the need for standardization of forensic activities in Ukraine, primarily through the harmonization of international standards, as well as the development of national standards.
The basis of trust and appreciation from the international expert community was the previous work on the certification and accreditation of certain activities of the Institute. At the same time, inconsistencies in the standardization of forensic expertise create difficulties in the relevant cooperation.
By the Order of SE “UkrNDNC” dated 07.05.2018 No. 125 the technical committee for standardization 192 “Forensic sciences” was established, and by the order dated 19.06.2018 No.175 the Regulations on TC 192 “Forensic sciences” were approved.
The sphere of activity of the TC 192 is a standardization in the field of forensic science, the development of national standards, including harmonized with international standards.
The purpose of creating TC 192 “Forensic sciences” is the development of national standards, including harmonized with international standards in the field of forensic science, which will contribute to organizational and methodological support in the field of forensic science, a unified approach to working with physical evidence, forensic science, uniformity of measurements, technical and information compatibility, comparability research results, unification work in the field of forensic science, etc.
The work of the specified TC 192 “Forensic examination” will help to achieve:
- increasing the reliability of forensic evidence;
- establishing agreed working methods that make it easier for expert laboratories of different jurisdictions to work together in the investigation of cross-border crime;
- providing support to expert laboratories of different jurisdictions in the event of a catastrophic event when the possibilities of this jurisdiction are exhausted;
- expanding the exchange of expert research results, information, including database sharing, etc.
Within the framework of the activities of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the project TC CEN/TC 419 “Forensic Science Processes” (hereinafter — CEN/TC 419) was created.
This field of activity is new both at the international and European levels and is not represented in Ukraine at all.
The scope of activity of the established TC 192 “Forensic Sciences” corresponds to the scope of ISO/TC 272 and CEN/TC 419 and takes into account the principle of mirroring the establishment of national technical committees for standardization.
It is envisaged that the national standards will cover terminology, requirements for consumables used in the collection, storage and processing of forensic materials, analysis and study of material, its recognition, recording, recovery, transportation, and storage, reporting, etc.
Participants TC 192 included 17 collective and 4 individual members.
It should also be noted that the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise is accredited in accordance with GOST ISO/IEC 17025:2006; certificate for recognition of measuring capabilities; license of the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drug Control; certificate of the subject of appraisal activity of the State Property Fund of Ukraine and certificate of the participant of the ENFSI.
On July 23, 2018, the Institute was registered with ISO/TC 272 as an observer. We have received the password for access to the electronic database ISO/TC 272, and in the future, we plan to deepen the relationship and become active members of ISO/TC 272 with the right to participate in the development of standards and voting.
Thus, the standardization activities initiated by the Institute, including the harmonization of international standards in the field of forensic science, provide an impetus to create methodological, scientific, and production prerequisites for Ukraine’s forensic examination to achieve world level.