Karen Squibb Williams
Karen is undertaking doctoral research in Forensic Evidence and Attrition in Criminal Cases in England and Wales under the supervision of Dr Carole McCartney.
Karen is a Barrister with long experience as National Prosecution Policy lead for Forensic Sciences (including DNA & Fingerprints), Expert Witnesses, Non-Accidental Head Injury Cases (formerly Shaken Baby Syndrome), Retention of Exhibits / Biometric Data, Pathology, and Disclosure. Having left her criminal practice in Chambers, in 2001 Karen joined the CPS as a front line prosecutor. She spent some time with regional responsibility for implementing national policy on domestic violence prosecutions. This was followed by a 6 month secondment to Her Majesty’s CPS Inspectorate.
In 2004 Karen moved to CPS Headquarters and took over the national lead for Forensic Science prosecution policy. She was responsible for introducing radical new approaches to cases involving DNA matches and has made significant progress in raising the profile of prosecution requirements across a numbers of agencies. Her approach seeks to combine the legal requirements of the UK criminal justice system with maximising the efficiencies forensic science can offer, as practically and meaningfully as possible.
She sits on a number of Boards and key Committees including: Home Office Forensic Science Transition Board (dealing with the closure of the FSS Ltd.), the Pathology Delivery Board, (the Home Secretary’s Register of Forensic Pathologists) several of the UK Forensic Science Regulator’s specialist groups, she is Chair of the Regulator’s DNA Specialist Group.
She specialises in approaching scientific evidence in the criminal justice system as a Case Management issue seeking agreement rather than solely as a complex adversarial experience for the jury. As an elected member of the General Council for the Bar 2002 – 2009, she served on a wide range of committees, including the Professional Conduct Committee.
She was lead co-author of a Chapter of the Chief Scientist’s Annual Report to Government on Forensic Science in December 2015.