Forging a forensic legacy | 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences

Fast facts

Event: 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Science

Dates: 20 – 24 November 2023

Location: International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney


The Organising Committee of the 23rd Triennial Meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences (IAFS 2023) aimed to surpass the traditional conference model by creating an event that would not only serve as a platform for knowledge exchange but also leave a significant and enduring legacy. Their vision included fostering collaboration with emerging countries and empowering early-career delegates through tangible strategic outcomes.


Alongside upholding the longstanding tradition of the IAFS to support emerging countries and delegates, the conference distinguished itself by prioritising discussions and proposals aimed at shaping the future of forensic science. Aligned with the theme ‘Where to from Here’ (WTFH), the conference focused on addressing key challenges and charting a course forward through five main pillars:

  1. Short, sharply focused panel discussions in the final session of each of the 22 disciplines represented at the meeting.
  2. A panel-based plenary session on the conference theme.
  3. Gathering thoughts from delegates through a dedicated meeting app.
  4. Industry-led transdisciplinary workshops.
  5. The presentation and debate of a bold statement about forensic science (the Sydney Declaration) during the conference.

Information from all five sources was compiled to provide a consolidated WTFH landscape for forensic science, presented in the form of a paper to be published in the IAFS 2023 Special Issue of academic journal, Forensic Science International.

The legacy was further established through collaboration with other leading forensic science journals. This arrangement gave all delegates the opportunity to publish work presented at IAFS 2023 in special issues of the Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences (extended abstract) or Forensic Science (peer-reviewed paper).


IAFS 2023 was designed to be a distinctive conference, and the Organising Committee succeeded in its overarching objective to provide strategic direction to forensic science while also establishing a lasting legacy.

One of the plenary speakers encapsulated this achievement by stating, “IAFS 2023 served as a pivotal moment where forensic science began articulating its own language and championing its distinctive culture and vision.”