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Report of the International Association for Identification, Standardization II Committee

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2011
257 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of the International Association for Identification (IAI), Standardization II Committee, which was charged with re-examining the following conclusion of the IAI Standardization Committee (1970-73) regarding fingerprint matching: "...no valid basis exists at this time for requiring that a pre-determined minimum number of friction ridge characteristics must be present in two impressions in order to establish positive identification."
Based on its research, deliberations, and findings, the Committee recommends that the IAI replace the 1973 Position Statement, thus changing the official position of the IAI related to friction ridge examinations. The recommended change would read as follows: "There currently exists no scientific basis for requiring a minimum amount of corresponding friction ridge detail information between two impressions to arrive at an opinion of single source attribution." This recommendation was presented at the 94th Annual Educational Conference of the IAI and passed as Resolution 2009-18 on August 21, 2009. The word "valid" in the 1973 version was replaced with the word "scientific," taking into consideration the countries where written policies or legal decisions make it compulsory to use a minimum number of Level II details. The word "characteristics" was replaced with "features" in order to allow for the use of all available friction ridge detail. The phrase "at this time" was also removed, since the document was originally dated to reflect the statement rendered in August 1973. In addition, the Committee recommends that IAI resolution VII of 1979 and IAI resolution V of 1980 be rescinded in their entirety. The Committee also offers recommendations regarding a structure for systematic research for the further advancement of friction-ridge science.

Date Published: March 1, 2011