Publisher: Springer; 2013 edition (5 Sept. 2013)
This book started out as a proceedings book for the Australasian College of Legal Medicine’s Annual Scientific Meeting in 2010. This conference was entitled “Legal and Forensic Medicine at the End of the First Decade of the 21st Century.” It was supposed to be a quick and simple publication to coincide with my stepping down from the presidency of the College after a decade at the helm.
The conference itself, held at Sydney University, was an exciting program, including some of the best known authorities in legal and forensic medicine in Australasia. It demonstrated how far we had evolved but also how far we still had to travel. The compilation of the various papers into book chapters motivated much greater commitment to produce a more comprehensive reference text, which incorporated the vast activities of the College, including topics from its basic law intensives, its practical law intensives, and its expert witness programs.
It soon became apparent that what started as a simple “quick and dirty” reporting of a conference had much more to offer. The Australasian experience with the development of legal and forensic medicine was being mirrored around the world. It soon became apparent that there was so much more both to teach and to learn. It was obvious that a book focused solely on Australasia was too restrictive and this realization generated the far more ambitious goal of compiling a lexicon of world experience.
Using my various roles in the World Association for Medical Law, which culminated in being honored to become its secretary-general, it was possible to persuade international experts and authorities to contribute chapters to this book. This no longer was a simple report of a conference but became a massive undertaking requiring coordination and international cooperation between authors, the editor, the publishers and various other people along the fascinating road that has led to the production of this book.