Title: The benefits and pitfalls of Bayes in forensic analysis
Authors: Norman Fenton - Queen Mary University of London (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Abstract: Although the last forty years has seen considerable growth in the use of statistics in legal proceedings, it is primarily classical statistical methods rather than Bayesian methods that have been used. Yet the Bayesian approach avoids many of the problems of classical statistics and is also well suited to a broader range of problems. The aim is to address the potential and actual use of Bayes in the law - with special emphasis on forensic evidence - and explains the main reasons for its lack of impact on legal practice. These include misconceptions by the legal community about Bayes theorem, over-reliance on the use of the likelihood ratio and the lack of adoption of modern computational methods. We will argue that Bayesian Networks (BNs), which automatically produce the necessary Bayesian calculations, provide an opportunity to address most concerns about using Bayes in the law.