The spectrum of tasks performed by forensic scientists would be completely misunderstood if limited only to the solving of local forensic problems. The forensic practitioner must also carry out the health political tasks society expects of them and must take a stand on questions of human rights transcending mere local and national interests. The logical consistency of this high claim grows necessarily out of the daily work of the forensic physician. As specialists in the phenomenology of the effects of violence, only the forensic scientist can be expected to perform the detailed documentation and reconstruction of events necessary to prove crimes involving maltreatment andlor torture. It is to the credit of the editor of the present volume that they have help to illuminate this vital connection between the specific competence of forensic scientists and its wider social and political implications.
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