P roposed ABA Criminal Justice Standards on DNA Evidence

At the 2006 ABA Annual Meeting, the House of Delegates will be considering proposed ABA Criminal Justice Standards on DNA Evidence .   Until and unless they are approved by the House of Delegates, they do not represent ABA policy.

For over thirty years, the ABA Criminal Justice Standards have guided policymakers and practitioners working in the criminal justice arena. When the initial volumes were issued in 1968, Chief Justice Warren Burger described the Standards project as "the single most comprehensive and probably the most monumental undertaking in the field of criminal justice ever attempted by the American legal profession in our national history." In the years since, several new volumes have been added to the original seventeen-volume First Edition, a Second Edition has been completed, and a Third Edition is well underway.

Initial responsibility for ensuring the Standards continue to be relevant, timely, and of the highest quality resides in the nine-member Standards Committee appointed by the ABA President and the Chair of the Criminal Justice Section. The Standards Committee determines the priorities for updating or revising existing volumes and for developing or expanding volumes to address issues not already covered. It commissions and provides oversight to Task Forces in developing specific recommendations, and ensures thorough review by both ABA and non-ABA entities. It reviews, revises, and approves draft standards to be forwarded to the Criminal Justice Section Council and, ultimately, to the policymaking ABA House of Delegates. Following approval by the House, it oversees the preparation of and approves commentary to accompany the "black letter" standards and, finally, it ensures publication of the new volumes.

The Standards are listed below. For each, a complete Table of Contents, as well as the "black letter" is available for viewing. The full edition of each Standard contains extensive commentary, including a review of pertinent case law. Please visit the Standards Ordering Information page for complete purchasing details.


The Standards

Ordering Information

For more information concerning the Criminal Justice Standards, please contact Susan Hillenbrand, Standards Project Director either through e-mail, or telephone at (202) 662-1503.