24 Nov 2020

DNA and human rights - Law Commission urges legal overhaul

From Checkpoint, 5:46 pm on 24 November 2020

Who owns the DNA that you leave on your abandoned coffee mug or a discarded cigarette butt?

And should police be able to use samples provided to those website that help you trace your family tree?

The 25-year-old law controlling how DNA is used in criminal investigations is now out of step with scientific advances and modern thinking on human rights, needs to be tossed out and a new one drafted from scratch.

That's the conclusion of the Law Commission.

Commissioner Donna Buckingham says in 2009 an amendment gave police more power to take DNA samples from anyone they intended to charge with an offence that could end in jail.