CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, May 25, 2013

McBride on Probability in Court

Ennis McBride (Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law) has posted The Practical Application of Probability in Court: Advancing Science or Timeless Art? on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The application of probability to issues of proof and evidence is now a well-developed academic field, forming as it does a central part of the ‘science of evidence’. But how far has that science developed in the practical setting of the court room? Starting from its roots and reviewing its progress to the present day, it is argued that while the science which supports statistical evidence has become ever more sophisticated, almost nothing has changed in English courts so far as what happens during the process of a trial. In this respect, the formal court dress worn by English advocates, largely unchanged since 1685, is emblematic of the lack of progress of probability theory since its inception.

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