National Commission on Forensic Science Takes Center Stage

The newly created National Commission on Forensic Science, a joint effort between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Justice was established to “strengthen and enhance” forensic science as a practice.

The National Commission on Forensic Science, which will include about 30 members,  was created to serve one common purpose: to bring together forensic science professionals as to develop policy recommendations for the Attorney General.

Just a few of the forensic science professionals who will work to develop these policy recommendations include:

  • Academic researchers
  • Prosecutors
  • Defense attorneys
  • Forensic scientists and forensic science service practitioners
  • Judges
  • Relevant stakeholders

Policy recommendations may include practice for forensic science laboratories at the local, state and federal levels, all of whom are administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

According to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the field of forensic science has become a relevant and vital tool for the administration of justice, and it must be continuously evaluated as technology and science develops and advances.

It is through forensic science that the justice system is strengthened, thereby increasing the need for new policies at every level of government.

In addition to providing policy recommendations to the Attorney General, the Commission will be responsible for developing recommendations as they related to professional responsibility and requirements for training and certification in the field of forensic science.

It is anticipated that the formation of the National Commission on Forensic Science will provide the framework necessary to bridge all forensic disciplines and encourage state and local partnership and federal leadership. The Department of Justice is expected to remain involved with the Commission, as it will provide guidance when developing policy recommendations and implementing them.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a non-regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote U.S. innovation and competitiveness by advancing science and technology, thereby enhancing economic security and improving our way of life.