Center for Global Affairs
International Investigations and Forensic Evidence
Criminalistics is the application of scientific principles and techniques to the identification, collection, analysis, and interpretation of forensic evidence, specifically forensic evidence of both physical and digital nature. Proper evidence handling, including the recognition, collection, preservation, storage and maintenance of the chain of custody, is necessary in a criminal investigation to ensure the admissibility of evidence in a court of law. In international investigations and international courts, the role, importance and presentation of physical and digital evidence in cases varies. This course introduces different forms of forensic evidence, including their relevance in mass atrocities and transnational crimes, such as crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and global acts of terrorism. Criminal investigations, including the recovery of human remains and forensic evidence, as well as crime scene analysis and reconstruction, are also discussed. Upon examination of methods of investigation, evidence collection and evidence analysis, the course considers the use of such evidence in national and international courts. Furthermore, the course explores the impact of transnational crimes and mass atrocities and the investigations of these illicit acts on global affairs and international peace building efforts.