Bayes and the Law

Fenton, Norman and Neil, Martin and Berger, Daniel (2016) Bayes and the Law. Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, 3 (1). pp. 51-77. ISSN 2326-831X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-statistics-041715-...

Abstract

Although the use of statistics in legal proceedings has considerably grown in the last 40 years, primarily classical statistical methods rather than Bayesian methods 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. This article reviews the potential and actual use of Bayes in the law and explains the main reasons for its lack of impact on legal practice. These reasons include misconceptions by the legal community about Bayes' theorem, overreliance on the use of the likelihood ratio, and the lack of adoption of modern computational methods. We argue that Bayesian networks, which automatically produce the necessary Bayesian calculations, provide an opportunity to address most concerns about using Bayes in the law.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Bayes theorem, legal reasoning, criminal trial process
Faculty: ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2019 13:49
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:14
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/704377

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