On the likelihood of “encapsulating all uncertainty”

Martire, Kristy A., Edmond, Gary, Navarro, Daniel J. and Newell, Ben R. (2017) On the likelihood of “encapsulating all uncertainty”. Science & Justice, 57 (1). pp. 76-79. ISSN 1355-0306

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2016.10.004


The assignment of personal probabilities to form a forensic practitioner's likelihood ratio is a mental operation subject to all the frailties of human memory, perception and judgment. While we agree that beliefs expressed as coherent probabilities are neither ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’ we argue that debate over this fact obscures both the requirement for and consideration of the ‘helpfulness’ of practitioner's opinions. We also question the extent to which a likelihood ratio based on personal probabilities can realistically be expected to ‘encapsulate all uncertainty’. Courts cannot rigorously assess a forensic practitioner's bare assertions of belief regarding evidential strength. At a minimum, information regarding the uncertainty both within and between the opinions of practitioners is required.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 13:04
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 18:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37033

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