Presentation number: FG 5
CROATIAN DNA DATABASE
Igor Obleščuk1, Andrea Ledić1, Adela Makar1, Vedrana Škaro2,3, Damir Marjanović2,4, Dragan Primorac5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14
1Forensic Science Centre “Ivan Vučetić”, Ministry of the Interior, Zagreb, Croatia, 2Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, Center for Applied Bioanthropology, Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb, Croatia, 3DNA Laboratory, Genos Ltd., Zagreb, Croatia, 4Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 5St. Catherine Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia, 6School of Medicine, University of Split, Split, Croatia, 7University Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia, 8School of Medicine, University of Osijek, Osijek, Croatia, 9Faculty of Dental Medicine and Health, University of Osijek, Osijek Croatia, 10School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia, 11Eberly College of Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA, 12Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, University of New Haven, West Haven, CT, USA, 13Medical School REGIOMED, Coburg, Germany, 14The National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
The Croatian DNA database was legally formed at the beginning of the 2000s with new Police regulation. Firstly, it contains DNA profiles of persons in general and crime stains/unknown persons stored in home-made database. In 2006 database migrated to CODIS (FBI) platform, where DNA profiles of known persons were distinguished into suspects, victims, and laboratory staff. With the new system, DNA profiles originated from unknown persons also distinguished into DNA profiles originated from crime scene/stains and those originated from unidentified bodies/persons. Since the migration to CODIS, the Croatian DNA database recorded more than 2.500 matches of unsolved crime stains with suspect DNA profiles. With new regulation that came to force in late 2011 storing DNA profiles into the database, the time of retention and deletion especially DNA profiles from individuals involved in crime act was regulated more precisely. In 2018, because of Croatia’s obligation to EU directives, DNA profiles were made available to EU member states through so-called Prüm decisions that enabled 400 unsolved domestic crimes to be linked to known persons. Before the start of automated exchanging DNA profiles and data, the DNA database and all stored profiles were thoroughly revised in which DNA profiles of suspects were differentiated into Suspects (general name for suspects, arrestees, and offenders not yet convicted) and Convicted Offenders according to revised legal acts. DNA profiles of crime stains also were revised in accordance with a number of loci and statistical significance. Today Croatian DNA database counts approximately 15.000 DNA profiles of which 11.000 are daily exchanging with other EU member states.
Key words: Keywords: DNA database, CODIS, DNA profile, crime stain, suspect
Presentation number: FG 6
A CASE FOR INTERNATIONAL ETHICAL GOVERNANCE OF FORENSIC DNA DATABASES
Northumbria University, Law School, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization has issued no fewer than three declarations on ethical conduct and genetics since 1997, but each of those declarations leave the ethical governance of forensic DNA databases to the country in which the database exists. In 2015, Kuwait attempted to create a universal DNA database, which was met with resounding international condemnation, including from the United Nations. Without international ethical governance, and the decision of the constitutional court in Kuwait, the database was not ‘unethical’ by the current standards. Without a cohesive, international ethical code, forensic genetics has strayed into the world of ‘can we do?’ often without asking the question of ‘should we do?’ Since 1995 when the first forensic DNA database was created, governments have amassed large databases of genetic information on a subset of their population and the use of those databases has gone largely unchecked. The international community cannot expect these databases to be used ethically if they do not provide ethical guidelines for their use, this presentation considers the creation of ethical guidelines for the creation and use of forensic DNA databases as well as a path forward for the declaration, implementation, and enforcement of those guidelines.
Key words: Ethics, Forensic Genetics, International Ethics, Forensic DNA Database