Digital forensics
Digital forensics

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Digital forensics

3.2 The role of the court

The case of R v Adams in Activity 8 illustrates that scientists and the courts have entirely different functions. You have already seen what scientists do: they try to produce a universal explanation using a set of procedures, which are capable of replication and testing. The court’s job is to adjudicate on specific issues between the parties, or in the criminal courts, determine whether the prosecution has shown on the basis of evidence presented and accepted to a sufficient standard that a specific, identified crime has been committed.

It is fundamental to the operation of the courts that once it reaches its decision, that decision is final. This is true unless there are profound and obvious grounds for appeal. There is a sound policy reason for this. It would be unfair to the participants in a civil case, and even more unfair to someone accused of a crime, if a court could, several months or years after reaching its decision, be allowed to say: ‘Sorry, we have done a bit more thinking and we have now changed our mind’. This is sometimes referred to as the fiction of certainty.

M812_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus