Professor Lisa Smith

Professor of Criminology

Head of School

Profile

Professor Lisa Smith, Head of School for Criminology, works at the interface between forensic science, psychology and the law.

Inspired to better understand how we use forensic science in the criminal justice system and make sure we aren’t misusing it, Lisa’s research focuses on judicial decision making and the role of forensic science in the criminal justice process.

Her work on the influence of pre-trial biases about forensic science held by jurors culminated in the development and validation of the Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale (FEEBS). This is now used by legal professionals around the world in jury selection procedures.

Turning her attention to global miscarriages of justice, Lisa is now focused on how to better utilise forensic science to fight the injustice of sexual violence in low-resource environments by developing a pioneering kit that enables victims to self-examine for DNA evidence.

Listen as Professor Smith discusses how to recover forensic DNA in cases of sexual violence in low-resource environments.

Research

  • Jury decision making
  • Interpretation of forensic evidence in the Criminal Justice System (e.g. police investigations, courtroom)
  • Forensic science and human rights
  • Human factors in forensic science
  • Improving the recovery of forensic evidence
  • Interpretation and processing of evidence by police agencies

Lisa’s research can be described as the interface between forensic science, psychology, and the law.  Her PhD research focused on the influence of biases about forensic science held by jurors on their verdict preferences, and culminated in the development and validation of the Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale (FEEBS; Smith & Bull, 2011, 2012, 2014) which has been further validated by other researchers and used by legal professionals in jury selection procedures. In recognition of this work, she was awarded the European Association of Psychology and Law Early Career Researcher Award (2015).

Lisa is the Programme Coordinator of the INTREPID Forensics EU-funded doctoral training programme (€2.9 million, 2014-2018). More recently, her research has been focused on the role of forensic science in international criminal prosecutions and human rights investigations, and she works closely with a number of international organisations on projects which aim to better utilise forensic science in developing countries.  In 2016 Lisa organised a new research network – the International Crime, Conflict, and Crisis Research Network – which brings together scholars and practitioners interested in research aiming to improve criminal investigations in international contexts.

Publications

Muinde, J.M., Bhanu, D.R.C., Neumann, R., Oduor, R.O., Kanja, W., Kimani, J.K., Mutugi, M., Smith, L.L., Jobling, M.A., Wetton, J.H. (2021) Geographical and linguistic structure in the people of Kenya demonstrated using 21 autosomal STRs, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 53. Doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2021.102535

Colloff, M.F., Seale-Carlisle, T.M., Karoglu, N., Rockey, J., Smith, H.J., Smith, L., Maltby, J., Yaremenko, S., & Flowe, H.D. (2021), Perpetrator pose reinstatement during a lineup test increases discrimination accuracy. Nature: Scientific Reports, 11, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92509-0

Rockowitz, S., Stevens, L.M., Rockey, J., Smith, L., Ritchie, J., Colloff, M., Kanja, W., Cotton, J., Kamau, C., Njorge, D., Flowe, H.D. (Under revision). Patterns of sexual violence against adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya, BMJ Open

Smith, L.L., Flowe, H.D., Kanja, W. (2019), Achieving more with less: A critical review of protocols for forensic investigation of sexual violence in low-resource environments. Forensic Science International: Synergy, 1, 108-113. Doi: 10.1016/j.fsisyn.2019.07.002

Smith, L.L., Wetton, J.H., Lall, G.K.M., Flowe, H., & Jobling, M. (2017) 'Forensic science and the right to access to justice: Testing the efficacy of self-examination intimate DNA swabs to enhance victim-centred responses to sexual violence in low-resource environments'. Science and Justice, 57(5), 331-335.

Sleath, E., & Smith, L.L. (2016). 'Understanding the factors that predict victim retraction in police reported allegations of intimate partner violence', Psychology of Violence, 7(1), 140-149.

Lingwood, J., Smith, L.L., & Bond, J.W. (2015) 'Amateur vs professional: Does the recovery of forensic evidence differ depending on who assesses the crime scene?' International Journal of Police Science and Management.

Smith, L.L., & Bond, J.W. (2014). Criminal Justice and Forensic Science. Palgrave Macmillan

Smith, L.L. (2014). Behavioural analysis of crime, by Donna Youngs. Reviewed in: The British Journal of Criminology, doi: 10.1093/bjc/azu051

Smith, L.L., and Bull, R. (2014) 'Validation of the factor structure and predictive validity of the Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale for robbery and sexual assault trial scenarios' Psychology, Crime and Law, 20 (5): 450-466 DOI: 10.1080/1068316x.2013.793340.

Supervision

  • Jury/judicial decision making about forensic science
  • The role of forensic science in human rights investigations
  • Forensic science and miscarriages of justice
  • Human factors in forensic science

Media enquiries

Get in touch for media enquiries, expert opinion, interviews, images or video.

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