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The History of the National Bureau of Expertises

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The “National Bureau of Expertises” state non-profit organization of the RA National academy of Sciences was established by the decision adopted on the 22nd of July 2004 N1127-N (amended and completed by the Government decision of June 23 2005 N867-N) within the framework of the intergovernmental agreement made between the Republic of Armenia and the USA on June 11 2001 about drug control and law enforcement cooperation. The main goals of its establishment are as follows:

I. The development, testing and introduction of modern scientific experimental methods and scientific technical resources in the field of the implementation of expertises designated by criminal prosecution and justice bodies;

II. The organization and implementation of scientific research, scientific and technical, scientific experimental work aimed at ensuring the implementation of expertises designated by the competent authorities and improving their quality;

III. The education and training of workers of the competent authorities responsible for the acquisition of initial data for expertises and authorized to designate expertises;

IV. The systematization of the existing research methodology, the elaboration of new methods, their testing and guarantee for use with the aim of ensuring the methodological unity of forensic expert studies;

V. The training and improvement of specialists in the field of expertises, as well as confirmation of their qualification through the order defined by the statute of the Republic of Armenia (point 7 amended by the decision of 23.06.05 N 867-N).

Organization's scope of activities includes scientific research, scientific educational, scientific methodological, scientific experimental and analytical work performance in the field of expertises implemented in accordance with the following five basic types of functions set forth by the Charter:

  • Scientific work: development, testing and introduction of modern scientific experimental methods into the sphere of expertises;
  • Organization and implementation of expertises designated by the competent authorities;
  • Implementation of additional educational programs: education and training of workers of the competent authorities responsible for the acquisition of initial data for expertises and authorized to designate expertises;
  • Scientific work: elaboration of methodology aimed at regulation and development of the sphere of forensic expertises;
  • Implementation of additional educational programs: the training and improvement of specialists in the field of expertises, as well as confirmation of their qualification through the order defined by the statute of the Republic of Armenia.

According to the structural schemes approved during the years 2005-2009 and the list of incumbents approved during the same period the organization employed high-level professionals (mainly competitively). The latter started to perform scientific, scientific-practical work in different areas of expertises. Since 2005 the specialists started carrying out expertises within the framework of state order based on the appropriate decisions adopted by the Government, according to the state contracts signed with the General Prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Armenia about ‘’The purchase of expertises implementation services’’ ensuring the implementation of Armenian and American intergovernmental program. Expertises initiators are the courts of the Republic of Armenia, the Police, the RA National Security Service, the RA Government, the State Revenue Committee, the Republic of Armenia Special Investigation Service, the Ministry of Defense, as well as other bodies of the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

During the years 2005-2009 the growth dynamics of the range and quantities of the forensic expertises designated and implemented in the organization within the framework of state order in criminal procedure field is seen on the following table:

Moreover, since January 2009 according to the approved incumbent list and the existing structural scheme there are expertises departments in the organization that carry out forensic expertises in 24 directions with the following types of expertises: Handwriting, Author’s and Questioned Documents Expertises Department; Photo-Technical, Image, Audio-Video Expertises Department; Traceological Expertises Department; Firearms Expertises Department; Arson and Explosives Expertises Department; Materialogical Expertises Department; Food, Soil and Biological Expertises Department; Constructing-Technical and Engineering-Technical Expertises Department; Road and Traffic Accidents Circumstances, Technical Conditions of Transport Means and Transport-traceological Expertises Department; Economic and Finance Expertises Department; Commodity Expertises Department; Computer-Technical Expertises Department; Cultural Expertises Department; Psychological Expertises Department; Forensic Medical Expertises Department; Clinical-Toxicological Expertises Unit. In addition, by the tasks of physical and legal persons services of expert nature are also carried out on contractual basis within the framework of civil-legal relations. The profit got from these services is used for achieving the statutory goals set before the organization as well as for providing development programs.

The organization is still in the formation stage and within the framework of Armenian-American intergovernmental program according to the structure scheme established by the founder in December 2008 it is planned not only to ensure the calculation power of the activity volume of 27 operating departments and units of the organization /16 of the departments are expert departments/, but also during the year 2010 to realize the formation of a number of new departments, units and other subdivisions. Among them are the Constructing-Technical and Engineering-Technical Expertises Department /which will ensure the implementation of expertises of electronic, mechanical and mixed devices and equipment/, the formation of Psychological Influences and Psycholinguistic Expertises Unit within the Psychological Expertises Department, as well as the formation of DNA Identification Expertises Unit initially within Medical Biological Expertises Department, and in the subsequent years as a separate independent Forensic Genetic Expertises Department using the whole powerful potential of the genetic science with the aim of ensuring the use of this function for the struggle against different crimes. Taking into consideration the needs of the field of expertises during the year 2010 particular importance will be given to the introduction of new types of expertises related to intellectual property law into the framework of Author’s expertises, as well as the introduction of expertises related to creative (mental) product, advertisement, commodity labels etc. During the year 2010 it is scheduled to introduce a number of new types of expertises, which are applied in European developed countries and in the USA such as crime scene expertises, expertises related to the identification of odourological traces left by man etc. In this regard, it should be noted that during the years 2009-2010 it is also scheduled to introduce a series of new expertises of different types into the sphere of computer-technological; photo-technical, image, audio-video expertises and further to develop a series of modern types of expertises by using the computer modeling method of road transport accidents, the computer identification of different kinds of tracks and samples.

It is also important to note that during the years 2005-2008 the National Bureau of Expertises state non-profit organization evolved close scientific-experimental cooperation with American prestigious institutions such as AAFS (American Academy of Forensic Expertises), (ASCLAD) American Association of Criminal Expert Laboratories Directors, as well as with the leading European institution ENFSI (the European Network of Forensic Expert Institutions). This cooperation took place within the framework of the above mentioned intergovernmental agreement between Armenia and America as a result of the given opportunities and support.

In this regard it should be noted that since 10.07.2006 there is a scientific Council operating in the organization to ensure the proper organization and regulation of scientific works. The Scientific Council involves not only the employees working at the organization, but also famous scientists and experts from other leading scientific institutions of the Republic of Armenia. It is important to note that at present there are 8 Doctors of Sciences and 15 science candidates (the organizations management and advisory bodies included) working at the organization full time, part time or on contractual basis. The organization is the only Institute of Expertises in the Republic of Armenia, which has a Scientific Council approved by the presidential staff of the national Academy of Sciences.

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