Université catholique de Louvain, Faculty of Law and Criminology, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology, Chaussée de Vilvorde 100, 1120 Brussels, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]
Forensic science faces a range of new challenges this past decades, including a change in definition of the scope of the roles of the actors in the criminal justice process. A decentralisation process has been occurring, leading to non-specialists using forensic capabilities. This shift in responsibility has led to a lack of global view of the case which has been remedied by some forensic science laboratories by the creation of a (new) role, that of forensic case coordinator (i.e. forensic coordinator or advisor). In the scope of this study, their role and position within five forensic science laboratories is presented and compared. Although some differences exist (e.g. judicial framework, training, cases involved in and manner of involvement), a common understanding of the supportive role of the forensic case coordinator within the criminal justice system and their actors can be devised and an increasing growth of the number of these positions emphases the demand and need for a centralising role.