Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2266480
 
 

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The Practical Application of Probability in Court: Advancing Science or Timeless Art?


Ennis McBride


Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law

May 17, 2013


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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 71

Keywords: evidence, balance of probabilities, beyond reasonable doubt, Bayes Theorem, standard of proof, law and science, likelihood ratios, R v Barry George, R v Adams, R v T

JEL Classification: B30, K40

working papers series


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Date posted: May 17, 2013  

Suggested Citation

McBride, Ennis, The Practical Application of Probability in Court: Advancing Science or Timeless Art? (May 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2266480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2266480

Contact Information

Ennis McBride (Contact Author)
Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law ( email )
Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands
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