About the Law Commission’s review of the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995

In New Zealand the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995 (‘the Act’) gives the Police powers to collect and use DNA in investigating crime. The Act also regulates two DNA databanks. These databanks store DNA information from individuals who have been charged with, or convicted of, certain offences. This information can then be compared to DNA collected from the scenes of unsolved crimes. Matches between the two provide the Police with investigative leads.

In light of significant amendments in 2003 and 2009, the Minister of Justice has asked the Law Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the Act.
The purpose of the review is to determine whether the current legislation is fit for purpose and keeping pace with developments in forensic science, international best practice and public attitudes.

The review will consider whether human rights and tikanga Māori are being appropriately recognised. It will also focus on ways to simplify the legislation and improve its accessibility.

See our project page here: “The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations