Wednesday, December 11, 2019

How to Write a Forensic Report/Analysis Report/Forensic Opinion?


Dr. Bhoopesh Kumar Sharma
Forensic Expert & Associate Professor

In terms of the participation of the forensic practitioner in the case, the forensic examination report is a critical and primary element. Whether you're writing for a client, a lawyer, or your supervisor, most of us need some scientific way to communicate our results.

Forensic Reports/Opinions are needed:

  • In Criminal and civil investigations
  • The forensic science acts as an aid to guide the investigator or jury to reach to a conclusion 
  • To provides decision-makers with facts needed to decide the matter and to ensure a successful investigation.
  • To link the evidences with the crime and the criminal (or suspect)
  • To prove or disprove the fact in issue
  • To exonerate the innocent from the case

General Structure of a Forensic Report

     Title of the Examination report- It means whether it is toxicological/handwriting opinion/ballistics etc. with proper legal section of the evidence act of that particular country or region.

Name and address of the laboratory with contact information like telephone, mobile, fax, email.

Affiliation of the laboratory showing its legal entity and accreditation status. In case you are a freelancer, your all credentials with your expertise and experience must be mentioned on the letter head of the report or at the end of the report.

Unique ID No. of the report with date (if applicable)

Name of the customer (client/attorney/individual) with reference letter  number and date (assignment letter)

Case Enquiry/ DD/ FIR no. ………date ………….u/s……….Police Station, under which court (if applicable)

Mode of receipt of material (evidences/specimens) : Through messenger or by post / by  mail

Sampling Method; How the sampling done by the IO/ Investigator/ Forensic Expert

Reference to the Test Method(s);  Reference to lab procedure manual/ books/published standard method- used in the examination, or sometimes to the previous cases solved or convicted.

Condition of Parcels/Test samples and seals; eg. Received. One sealed/ unsealed ..parcel. The seals were intact and tallied with the specimen seal as per forwarding authority letter.

Description of Specimens/Parcels/Samples/Exhibits etc.

Methodology of Examination

Result of Examination & Opinion

Signature or examining officer along with seal.

General Rules of Writing Forensic Report

Your reports must be divided into three main sections :

1. The beginning
2. The middle (main body)
3. The End (Result, conclusion and opinion)

The beginning usually talks about the executive summary, complaint summary, investigation summary, and conclusion summary.

The main body must consists of the background, the evidences considered, and the analysis conducted.

The end talk about the facts, conclusions, opinions, and signature, time, and date.


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