- Published: June 21, 2018
In cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice in the field of legal and forensic medicine, a Moroccan delegation visited Berlin from 18 to 21 June 2018 to learn about the “Potential of legal and forensic medicine for law professionals”.
The event was part of a three-year project due for completion in 2019, which the IRZ is leading together with the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, supported by the German Foreign Office as part of the transformation partnerships with North Africa/the Middle East.
The objectives are to support independent legal and forensic medicine in Morocco by providing continued training and education for forensic scientists and to improve the cooperation between the justice system and legal and forensic medicine. The latter should be achieved through the continued training of judges and public prosecutors in legal and forensic medicine.
The event began with a visit to the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, where the speaker and regional court judge, Daniela Obermeier from the RB3 “Criminal proceedings (investigation process, enforcement measures)” division outlined the cooperation between the justice system and legal and forensic medicine from the German point of view. Following an introduction to the structure and organisation of the German Federal Ministry, the lecture dealt with the legal status of legal and forensic medicine in German criminal proceedings. The speaker explained specifically how legal and forensic medicine is involved in criminal proceedings and how the justice system deals with any potentially inaccurate reports.
During the subsequent visit to the German Association of Judges, the participants learned from Peter Faust, Presiding Judge at the Regional Court of Berlin, how expert opinions are analysed in court. He talked in particular about recognising signs of torture and the use of force.
On the second day, expert discussions were held at the Institute of Legal and Forensic Medicine at the Charité Berlin. The participants were given an insight into the work of the Charité Berlin, followed by a guided tour of the Department of Forensic Pathology and Toxicology. During the expert discussions, the Head of Forensic Pathology and Senior Physician, Dr. Lars Oesterhelweg, explained in detail the various tasks involved in legal and forensic medicine and gave an insight into the current situation of legal and forensic medicine in Germany. He also explained how forensic scientists are trained in Germany. During the subsequent discussions, Dr. Oesterhelweg answered questions on the production and evaluation of forensic reports.
In the afternoon, the Moroccan guests attended expert discussions with Udo Gabriel from the department responsible for investigating crime scenes and evidence at the Berlin homicide division. Udo Gabriel gave details of the work of the homicide division and relations with the police, public prosecutor’s office and legal and forensic medicine. During the subsequent expert discussions on “securing evidence”, the participants learned how the securing of evidence by police and by forensic scientists is differentiated and the role this plays in the production of expert opinions.
This study visit organised by the IRZ was met with a great deal of interest by the participants, who made the most of the opportunity to ask plenty of questions and take an active part in discussions.