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Expert Witness : Technology

Expert analysis can help uncover the truth

Despite the many stories of local authorities turning off CCTV cameras to save money, evidence from cameras, when properly analysed and presented in an expert report, can prove invaluable in getting at the truth of a case or in determining a timeline of events.

Such an expert approach is taken by Audio Video Forensics, a Stockport-based company that specialises in the analysis and interpretation of both covert audio and CCTV footage.

The value of such work was most recently seen in the fatal accident inquiry into the Glasgow bin lorry crash in December last year that killed six people. Audio Video Forensics were engaged by the Procurator Fiscal to analyse multiple CCTV images from around the crash scene to determine the speed of the vehicle.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:32

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Police film themselves to help avoid doubt

Video cameras have an accepted and familiar role in identifying wrongdoing and in exonerating the innocent. They are now being used by police forces themselves to protect officers from being wrongly accused of misconduct - or worse.

That issue takes on an altogether more sinister tone when the officer concerned is a firearms officer, which is why a number of police forces are taking part in a pilot to identify whether chest-mounted or head-mounted cameras are more suitable for firearms officers.

One of those forces is Staffordshire, which already uses around 560 body-worn video cameras, according to the Police Oracle news website.

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No address? No problem, we’ll serve injunction via Twitter

Perhaps with some justification, the rules of Court practice and procedure are viewed by many as archaic and not particularly user friendly. However, law firm SGH Martineau, in what many regard as a first, recently sought and obtained permission from the Court to serve an injunction on a defendant via Twitter.

Could this be a sign that the legal system is starting embrace the digital world?

A client of the firm’s Education team had ejected an undesirable far-right group from one of its campuses and sought to ensure members of the group would face action if they trespassed on the University’s land again.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 11:58

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Artificial intelligence in law

help keyRAVN Systems, experts in Enterprise Search, Unstructured Big Data analytics, Knowledge Management and Cognitive Computing technology, feature in this week’s BBC Tech Tent podcast on the subject of Artificial Intelligence Technology within the Legal industry. First broadcast on Friday, RAVN’s CTO, Jan Van Hoecke, discusses a new application of RAVN’s Applied Cognitive Engine with BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, and Matthew Whalley - Head of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s new Legal Risk Practice.

RAVN Govern, powered by RAVN’s Applied Cognitive Engine intelligently assesses the risk levels in individual contracts, and reports individual and aggregate risk exposure before contracts are signed. This could revolutionise businesses contract governance and risk profiling – highlighting areas of significant and attritional loss – and significantly reducing sign-off delays.

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2015 10:06

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Reforms to HMRC IT system meet with ‘limited success’

Picture of HMRC HQ for Your Expert Witness storyHM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has had limited success so far in reforming its Aspire contract with IT specialist Capgemini, according to the National Audit Office. The spending watchdog has warned in a report published on 22 July that there are serious risks to HMRC’s business if the programme to replace the contract fails to meet its objectives by June 2017 when the contract ends.

The Aspire contract is government’s largest technology contract, costing £7.9bn between July 2004 and March 2014. It was intended to ensure continuity of HMRC’s ICT services, while continuously improving their performance, facilitate change to HMRC’s business in line with its strategy and provide rapid access to up-to-date skills and technologies.

The report acknowledges that Aspire has provided the continuity of service to enable HMRC to collect around £500bn of tax each year with few significant service failures. The contract has helped HMRC to improve its operations by reducing operating costs, increasing tax yield and improving service to customers.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 18:51

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