The Development of a Criminalistics Theory in Russia and the United States: A Comparative AnalysisAbstract
Drawing on a comparative analysis of current research and academic literature published in Russia and the United States, I describe the stages of the development of forensic science in the two countries. I analyse the structure and major areas of modern criminalistics. Special attention is paid to the relevant philosophical and methodological framework and the functions of forensic science. I give a detailed account of Russian and US scholars’ approaches to the nature, subject, and object of criminalistics and provide an overview of the history of the discipline. I address the relationship between criminalistics and criminal procedure law. In considering the methodological framework for criminalistics, I focus on the thought experiment (event reconstruction) technique and the situational approach, which is used both in Russia and in the US. I describe the concept, essence, and capabilities of the situation approach to crime investigation. Today, the situational approach is central to forensic thinking. I demonstrate the role of the approach in the training of lawyers and in investigative practices. I describe the use of forensic thinking in the US in the advanced training of detectives and investigators as a means to further their professional growth. I demonstrate how civil and arbitration procedures may benefit from modern criminalistics.