(Monday 3rd of April 2017)
PSD quer alterar lei sobre base de dados de perfis de ADN

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to understand the various impacts associated with the development of a forensic DNA database in a society such as the Portuguese, which is characterised by low levels of trust in the state and the justice system.

Our main objectives are: (1) to produce knowledge to be used in defining public policies relating to forensic uses of genetic information; (2) to contribute towards public debate and the provision of information on this matter for civil society.

We will be using diverse research techniques, including in-depth individual interviews and thematic discussion groups held with several stakeholders – ranging from experts in law and genetics, to police officers, judges, journalists, ordinary citizens and individuals convicted of crimes.

We intend to answer a series of questions, namely the following:

1. Legislation. To what extent is Portuguese legislation on forensic genetic databases similar to or different from legislation in other EU jurisdictions?

2. Research. What are the organisational characteristics of the scientific and police institutions involved in the development of the DNA forensic database and how are criminal investigation practices being transformed by this technology?

3. Justice. What changes will be required in judicial practices in order to ensure that DNA evidence is interpreted accurately and used appropriately?

4. Ethics. To what extent do ethical debates shape the implementation and operationalisation of the DNA forensic database in Portugal?

5. Civil society. How can ordinary citizens become involved in the debate on the benefits/risks of this kind of database and convey their opinions to political leaders and decision-makers?

6. Crime. What are the perspectives of individual offenders concerning the forensic DNA database and to what extent does it act as a deterrent to crime?