Towards a reformed policy for immigrant DNA tests, a commentary

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DNA can be useful corroborative evidence in establishing familial relationship in immigration cases. Presently, there is no specific law in the UK regulating the use of DNA in this domain. This has led to inconsistencies in policy guidance and the rejection of some immigrant applications solely or partly due to a lack of DNA evidence. This commentary draws on the DNA regulatory regime in law enforcement to make a case for a specific DNA immigration law to protect individual rights, assure fairness and trust in the treatment of applicants. In addition to a specific law, consistency in operations should be ensured by developing a central point of contact for guidance including a central IT system, and a custodian of the DNA application process. Further, a single code of practice and conduct is proposed to ensure that guidance products are in line with the law and practice. An independent multi-stakeholder board is also recommended to ensure that policies are representative of the views of applicants and their relatives; policy officers and operational staff; and policymakers and the public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-119
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Early online date8 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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