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Interdisciplinary Workshops on Statistics and the Law

Statistics is widely used in expert reports for criminal and civil cases. It is also relevant to better understanding
and operation of the justice system, and the prevention and detection of crime.

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) involvement in Statistics and the Law accelerated from 2000. A working group published four guides for lawyers, forensic scientists and expert witnesses. The Statistics and the Law section of the RSS was establish in 2015. Section members have collaborated with judges, barristers, the Forensic Science Regulator and the Royal Societies (London and Edinburgh) on several statistical guides. A report ‘Healthcare serial killer or coincidence?’ was published in 2022.

However, there is scope for further work, particularly in areas other than providing expert opinions for the courts. There will be series of workshops on Probabilistic decision making tools, Understanding of legal systems, Algorithms in justice system and Personal injury and medico-legal issues in civil litigation. Some sessions will focus on the views and perceived needs of participants in the legal system, including representatives of the police, the probation service, the Ministry of Justice as well as academic and practising lawyers. Other sessions will present statistical methods which address questions raised by legal processes, and debate approaches to more effective use of statistical design and analysis techniques.

One major barrier to increased statistical contributions is the scarcity of statistical data scientists. Ensuring
attendance of earlier career statisticians who might advance the field is important. Development of training
material for statisticians and continuing professional development material for forensic practitioners is a further
opportunity to benefit society.

The scope of this workshop series is limited. Many areas, for example, financial crimes and financial regulation, cannot be addressed.

Link to webpage: Interdisciplinary workshops on Statistics and the Law

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