Safeguarding forensic evidence in the Zambian criminal justice system

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Kosamu, Mumbi Pauline
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This paper aims to ascertain the current mechanism in place in Zambia for preserving forensic evidence. It seeks to assess the efficacy of this mechanism by evaluating the chain of custody of forensic evidence in Zambia. The study looks into the important role played by law enforcement officers and crime scene investigators in the collection, storage and preservation of forensic evidence and ultimately seeks to ascertain why safeguarding forensic evidence is such a critical element in achieving a proficient criminal justice system. The information in this research paper has been obtained from various sources. Primary sources include interviews with law enforcement officers and forensics experts, while secondary sources consist of textbooks, articles, statutes and the internet.The paper reveals the efficacy of the chain of custody of forensic evidence in Zambia and stresses the significance of exercising skill and professionalism when handling forensic evidence. The study ultimately highlights the importance of forensic evidence in resolving criminal investigations and reveals why it is important to safeguard forensic evidence not only during the investigation process but also after the prosecution of the case. The study then proposes some recommendations concerning the preservation of forensic evidence which could aid in the effective prosecution of crime and the delivery of justice to the Zambian people. These recommendations include the expansion of budgetary ceilings to adequately cater for forensics needs, upgrading of machinery to aid in forensic analysis, delivery of tools to improve the quality of investigations, and establishment of a law to provide guidelines for the preservation of forensic evidence and to facilitate post-conviction forensic testing.
Forensic Evidence , Criminal Justice System