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Department of forensic medicine

‘Forensic medicine – this bridge between law and medicine – is a major factor in the safety of our fellow citizens. In an essential way, by means of scientific and independent contributions, it furthers judicial progress and the benefits that characterise the latter.1

The department consists of 3 services, 1 technical platform and 1 unit:

Within the LNS, the department of forensic medicine works mostly at the request of the Luxembourg judicial authorities, but also at the order of the police and other government bodies.

Forensic medical service

This service’s main tasks are the performance of forensic autopsies, forensic examinations of corpses, as well as visits to crime scene locations whenever necessary. In addition, for preliminary investigations, the service conducts clinical examinations on living persons. It also carries out various assessments concerning forensic matters and provides training in forensic medicine. The service is integrated into the national team of the Grand Ducal Police in charge of the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI).

DNA service

This unit provides support for expert assessments based on the tools of molecular biology in order to provide objective evidence in the context of court cases, such as the determination of human genetic fingerprints or DNA genetic profiles.

Forensic toxicology service

The tasks performed by this service include establishing toxicological reports for autopsies and matters concerning living persons, such as hair analysis in the screening for drug addiction, keeping or recovering a driving licence or within the context of drug misuse2.

Technical platform for analytical toxicology and pharmaceutical chemistry

The main purpose of this platform is the identification and testing of narcotic drugs and the control of legal, forged or counterfeit medicines and food supplements or other products of unknown origin suspected of containing medicinal substances. Judicial authorities, custom authorities, the Division of Pharmacy and Medicines (DPM) of the Ministry of Health, pharmacists, doctors and private customers are its main external clients and it provides assistance to all of the LNS services for identifying unknown components.

1 « La médecine légale – ce pont lancé entre le droit et la médecine – participe à la sûreté de nos concitoyens. Par son apport scientifique et indépendant, elle contribue de manière essentielle au progrès judiciaire et aux garanties qui le caractérisent ». Excerpt from a document written by the Prosecutor General Marc ROBERT at the Court of Appeal of Versailles (France) (translated from French into English by Martine Weitzel Boutique Translation)

2 Drug misuse is defined as the administration of psychoactive substances for criminal or illegal purposes without the knowledge of the victim.

the team