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Admission requirements

  • Background in law

  • Sufficient command of English (IELTS 6.5 or higher)



  • Classical principles of forensic science

  • Scientific interpretation of evidence

  • Interfaces of forensic science, the law, law enforcement, and the general public

  • Reasoning with evidence in cases

Key words
Principles of forensic science; interpretation of evidence; science and the law; logical framework; evidential value; case assessment and interpretation; contextual information; areas of expertise; role of expert in judicial system.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course:

  • Improve knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of forensic science for investigative and evaluative purposes;

  • Raise awareness of the gap between science and the law, and the role of science and logic in the judicial system;

  • Increase awareness of the problems that arise at the interfaces of science, the law, law enforcement, and the general public.

Achievement levels:
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:


See working groups

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: One 2-hour lecture per week for five weeks

  • Names of lecturers: prof. dr. Charles Berger

  • Required preparation by students: study assigned materials from the reader.


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: One 2-hour seminar per week for five weeks

  • Names of instructors: prof. dr. Charles Berger

  • Required preparation by students: response to written questions, oral presentation.

Other methods of instruction

  • Visit to the Netherlands Forensic Institute (1 day)

  • Studying a subject for a presentation (in groups)

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam.

  • Oral presentation.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The required reading (literature) for the course, the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Reader

Recommended course materials

  • to be announced


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.

Contact details


  • Institution: Criminal Law and Criminology

  • Division: Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure

  • Room number secretariat: KOG, room C1.01

  • Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9 :00-17:00

  • Telephone number secretariat: +31 (0)71 527 7518

  • E-mail: