Atkins v The Emperor: the cautious use of unreliable expert opinion

Vathek Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 2010, 14 pp. 146 - 166
Issue Date:
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What happens to a country under constant surveillance? The recent decision in Atkins v The Queen provides a partial answer.1 The sheer availability of images seems to be driving decisions about their admissibility and use as identification evidence. Confronted with CCTV recordings associated with criminal activities English courts have been reluctant to restrict their admission or impose limitations on the scope or form of incriminating opinion derived from them. Although the Court of Appeal decision in Atkins v The Queen is concerned primarily with the way in which an opinion derived from CCTV images was expressed, the decision exposes jurisprudential weakness and continuing problems with photo comparison and facial-mapping evidence.
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