Monday, 11 July 2011

An interesting Conference

I just got back from the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research annual conference (programme is here) held at the Open University Milton Keynes. There were some outstanding keynote speakers such as Lord Justice Leveson, Prof John Hatchard, Prof Jim Fraser and Dr Itiel Dror, and the panel included Iain McKie (ex-policeman and campaigner on behalf of his daughter Shirley McKie who was wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at a crime scene and lying about it). When I was originally invited to speak at the conference I was going to talk about the latest research we were doing in collaboration with David Lagnado at UCL on using Bayesian networks to help build complex legal arguments (dealing with things like alibi evidence, motive and opportunity). But that was before the  R v T ruling and its potentially devasting impact for using Bayes in English courts (the analogy would have been like talking about differential equations after being told that you were not allowed to use addition and subtraction). So I ended up doing a presentation based on our draft paper addressing the R v T ruling (my slides are here).  This turned out to be a good move because I think it also addressed some of the core recurrent themes of the conference. Full report is here.

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