Joint RSM-BAFS Conference Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) A multidisciplinary approach to the presentation, investigation and prosecution

Date: 22/01/22

Time: 9.15

Venue: Webinar


This webinar aims to examine the essential aspects of an acute presentation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a child and the criminal investigation, whilst ensuring the welfare of the child remains paramount. In this session, key speakers will cover the clinical aspects of the child’s presentation, assessment and clinical care, safeguarding the child, along with aspects of the police investigation and evidence gathering. It will also cover the case building, charging decision and prosecution. This is a joint meeting run in conjunction with the British Academy of Forensic Sciences (BAFS).

9:15am Welcome and introduction Dr Bernadette Butler, President, Clinical Forensic and Legal Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Tracy Alexander, President, British Academy of Forensic Sciences Session one: Initial presentation and investigation and clinical assessment

9:25am Clinical presentation of female genital mutilation, assessment and clinical evidence Dr Deborah Hodes, Consultant Paediatrician, University College Hospital, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The Lighthouse 10:15am Comfort break Session two: Investigative, learning and collaborative aspects

10:20am Police response to FGM: Intelligence, prevention and collaboration Inspector Allen Davis, Operational Lead, Harmful Practices, National Lead, Metropolitan Police Service, National Police Lead, Operation Limelight and Deputy Chair, National Working Group, Abuse linked to Witchcraft and Spirit Possession

11:05am Comfort break

11:20am The role of the National Injuries Database (NID) Team (National Crime Agency (NCA) and medical experts for FMG cases Sonya Baylis, National Injuries Database Manager, Major Crime Investigative Support, National Crime Agency 11:55am The voice of the child Mr Leethen Bartholomew, Head, National FGM Centre, Barnados

12:25pm Panel discussion

12:45pm Lunch Session three: A legal and anthropological view

1:25pm Welcome and introduction to the afternoon Tracy Alexander

1:30pm Case building, charging decisions and evidence presentation including witness testimony Ms Lynette Woodrow, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters

2:05pm A strategic legal perspective Dexter Dias, Queen's Counsel, Garden Court Chambers 2:40pm Comfort break

3:00pm Recent efforts to legalize ritual female genital cutting of minors: a growing threat to women's and children's rights Dr Brian D. Earp, Senior Research Fellow, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford

3:35pm Panel discussion

3:55pm Concluding remarks

4:10pm Close of meeting


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BAFS welcomes applications for Membership from professionals with qualifications in medicine, science, or the law who have contributed, or are likely to contribute, to the application and practice of the Forensic Sciences. Applicants from within these disciplines who are interested, but lack experience, may be offered Associate Membership.