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Jeltje van Esch, Forensic advisor at the Court of Appeal

Before starting Forensic Science in 2013, I studied Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. However, I wanted to work closer to society instead of applying research in a lab. In view of the fact that I was still interested in science as well as regulatory affairs, but specifically in the forensic aspect of both, I chose to study Forensic Sciences.


During the master, I enjoyed thinking about new applications to use within the forensic research field, but it was until I joined the project ‘Gerede Twijfel’ that I realised what I really liked to do. It appeared to me that you can be a great expert in a specific forensic field, but in the end the judge needs to understand your report to interpret the evidential value in the right way. I wanted to bridge the gap between the scientists and the judges. To understand a bit more about our criminal law system, I started a second master ‘Forensica, criminologie en rechtspleging’ (forensics, criminology and law).

I feel very blessed and happy that I can apply the knowledge of both masters in my current job, and that I am working in the field I wanted to work in, being a forensic adviser to the judges at the criminal department of the courts of appeal in The Hague and in Den Bosch. Looking back on my journey so far it looks like a well-planned journey. However, it wasn’t anything like that. When starting the master, I didn’t know the project I joined existed as well as the 2nd master and even the job I am doing now. But once the opportunities arose I became enthusiastic about them and gave my all. A professor once told me: “make sure that you like every step you take, and your journey will be a good one!”