Medico-Legal Death Investigation Systems in the Pacific and Creating a Stronger Pacific Disaster Victim Identification Network
James JVP Kalougivaki*
Acting Head of Forensic Pathology, Forensic Science Service, Fiji Police Force, Fiji
- *Corresponding Author:
- James JVP Kalougivaki
Acting Head of Forensic Pathology
Forensic Science Service
Fiji Police Force, Fiji
Tel: 679 9905 601
Received date: October 8, 2014; Accepted date: November 20, 2014; Published date: November 24, 2014
Citation: Kalougivaki JJVP (2015) Medico-Legal Death Investigation Systems in the Pacific and Creating a Stronger Pacific Disaster Victim Identification Network. J Forensic Res 6:255. doi: 10.4172/2157-7145.1000255
Copyright: © 2014 Kalougivaki JJVP. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Introduction: The Pacific Island Countries (PICs) consist of 20,000 to 30,000 scattered islands spread across 8.5 million square kilometers of Ocean. There are three ethnogeographic distinct sub-groupings in the Pacific and they are Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. The evolution of the global Medico-Legal Death Investigation (MDI) system has produced the Coroner's, Medical examiner's and the newer European Continental systems. However, the PICs maintain post-colonial mixed medico-legal systems. Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) is an important part of the MDI system.
Objective: To review the MDI systems in the PICs and the recommend measures accordingly to strengthen the
network for DVI in the Pacific.
Methods: This is a qualitative research paper focusing on independent self-governing PICs from Polynesia,
Melanesia and Micronesia.
Discussion: The PICs criminal codes, legal systems and post-colonial adaption of MDI systems are emerging.
There are also many developmental limitations for MDI systems in the PICs. Despite the profound historical
evidence of disasters of varying magnitudes, the Pacific MDI and DVI network exists as an informal one through
personal acquaintance. Therefore, this demands a better and effective MDI system in the PICs particularly with
regards to DVI.
Conclusion: The need to fortify and better the DVI network in the Pacific will depend on good regional indicators.
There is a crucial need for the operatives of the MDI system in the PICs to form a link through intergovernmental
participation and association with other Pacific networks to drive the sustained development of the national and
regional MDI system. Through this collaboration the Pacific DVI network could also be established centrally in a PIC
that has a steady Forensic Science Service. Upcoming Forensic experts could operate out of this central location to
serve the PICs accordingly. This eventually will achieve a standard practice and regionalization of the Pacific MDI