23 Jun 2014
IFEG member Prof. Duarte Nuno Vieira distinguished for forensic science excellence

he IRCT congratulates Prof. Duarte Nuno Vieira, a member of IRCT’s Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG), who has been selected as recipient of the 2014 Douglas Lucas Medal by the American Association of Forensic Sciences.

Prof. Duarte Vieira was selected as recipient of the 2014 Douglas Lucas Medal

Prof. Vieira and the IFEG have made significant contributions to the human rights field and the fight against impunity by addressing one of the major challenges in proving torture: investigating and producing medico-legal documentation, which can be used in courts to prosecute perpetrators.


The Lucas Medal was first established in 1999 and is presented triennially “to a person who has made internationally recognized contributions to forensic science.”


“We applaud the American Association of Forensic Sciences for recognising a forensic expert that has contributed so much to the field of human rights and the fight against torture,” said IRCT Secretary-General Victor Madrigal-Borloz.


Previous awardees of the Douglas Lucas Medal include: the British Alec Jeffreys, who developed techniques for DNA fingerprinting and DNA profiling which are now widely used in forensic science; the North-American Clyde Snow, a prominent forensic anthropologist who applied his knowledge to human rights groups; and the Swiss Pierre Margot, considered by many the highest authority in criminology.


The Medal, which is among the highest distinctions in the world of forensic sciences, will be awarded to Prof. Vieira at the 20th World Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS), which will take place in Seoul, South Korea, in October of 2014.

About the IFEG


The Independent Forensic Expert Group is a group of preeminent independent health specialists who provide technical advice and expertise in cases where allegations of torture are made. The Group conducts evaluation missions, produces medico-legal reports, as well as serves as a global reference point on the issue. It advocates for the increased use of medical evidence and continues to build a body of knowledge on the subject of forensic documentation.


The IFEG was established by the IRCT in partnership with Copenhagen University Department of Forensic Medicine. The Group is the only existing forensic expert group in the area of human rights.


Some of the contributions of the Group include a number of medico-legal reports used to bring perpetrators to justice and expert statements on the physical and psychological effects of hooding and on the international standards to access of medical records for assessing torture.

“The act of torture supports and encourages a system of impunity. It can take years before the perpetrator is brought to justice, but rehabilitation gives victims the necessary strength to wait for this justice.” - Olga Sadovskaya, Deputy chair of the Committee Against Torture

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