Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Mardia Prize 2023: Interdisciplinary workshops in Statistics and the Law

The Mardia Prize was founded by RSS fellow Kanti Mardia, OBE, to ensure that the tradition he started of workshops which brought statisticians together with other academics and professionals in emerging interdisciplinary areas.

Professor Jane L Hutton, the winner of the 2023 Mardia Prize, will lead a team in organising a series of four workshops.

The team is:

Prof Julia Mortera, Università Roma Tre
Dr Amy Wilson, University of Edinburgh
Neil MacKenzie KC, Arnot Manderson Advocates, Edinburgh.
Dr Linda Nichols, University of Warwick
Dr Gail Robertson, University of Edinburgh
Prof Richard Gill (Emeritus), Leiden University

Background and purpose:

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) Statistics and the Law section was founded in 2015. Section members have collaborated with judges, barristers, the Forensic Science Regulator and the Royal Societies (London and Edinburgh) on several statistical guides.
There is scope for further work, particularly in areas other than providing expert opinions for the courts. There will be series of workshops. 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 will be sought. Statistical methods, including statistical design, which address questions raised by legal processes will be explored. The scope of this workshop series is limited. Many areas, for example, financial crimes and financial regulation, cannot be addressed.
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.

Further details of the proposed workshops are here: