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Normative decision structures of forensic interpretation in the legal process

English title Normative decision structures of forensic interpretation in the legal process
Applicant Biedermann Alex
Number 155809
Funding scheme SNSF Starting Grants
Research institution
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 1'293'456.00
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Keywords (5)

Uncertainty; Normative approach; Legal Process; Decision analysis; Forensic Science

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Chaque année, on recense plusieurs millions de procédures pénales en Europe. En même temps, de nouvelles initiatives sont lancées pour promouvoir des principes tels que l'égalité des armes pour renforcer les garanties d'un procès équitable. Dans ce contexte, les modes de raisonnement et de prise de décision basés sur des informations incomplètes requièrent une attention particulière. En effet, le raisonnement humain est susceptible de conduire à des incohérences dans ce type de situations, en particulier en matière d’interprétation de traces forensiques. Afin d’aborder les défis conceptuels et pratiques qui en découlent, il est impératif de se focaliser sur l’interface entre la science forensique et le droit. Ainsi, ce projet tient à aborder des questions fondamentales d’interprétation au travers d’une approche interdisciplinaire qui se concentre non seulement sur les structures logiques du raisonnement mais aussi sur son intégration cohérente dans les processus de prise de décision.
Lay summary

Pour l’heure, il est largement admis que le concept de probabilité constitue le cadre le plus approprié pour aborder les questions d’inférence qui se posent à l’interface entre la science forensique et le droit. Or, les questions d’intérêt et les besoins vont au-delà du raisonnement rationnel, et font appel à la notion de prise de décision : « Comment passer d’une opinion probabiliste, informée sur la base d’indices forensiques, à une décision juridique ? »

Le caractère original et fondamental de ce projet de recherche relève de sa perspective normative. Ainsi, au lieu d’étudier de manière descriptive la façon dont les décisions sont prises, les chercheurs de ce projet approfondiront les structures logiques qui – grâce à leur transparence et rigueur formelle véhiculée au travers de modèles graphiques – devraient lier le raisonnement sur la base d’indices forensiques aux décisions qui en découlent dans un contexte juridique. Pour aborder ce sujet complexe, le projet mettra à profit l’interdisciplinarité de chercheurs issus tant de la science forensique que des statistiques, du droit et de la philosophie de la science.

Ce projet de recherche permettra de cerner les considérations fondamentales en matière de gestion d’incertitude et d’évaluation de la valeur probante d’indices forensiques, en particulier les rôles et apports respectifs de ces branches dans les processus de prise de décision en matière juridique. Ce savoir, concrétisé au travers d’études de cas pratiques, favorisera, à son tour, le développement de stratégies d’argumentation rigoureuses, transparentes et cohérentes. Au moment où l'Europe occidentale cherche à construire une zone de coopération judiciaire, ce projet de recherche revêt une importance à la fois sociétale et inter-juridictionnelle.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.08.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Influence diagrams for complex litigation
BiedermannAlex, KoehlerJonathan (2022), Influence diagrams for complex litigation, in Jurimetrics: The Journal of Law, Science, and Technology, 62(Winter), 131-171.
(Un-)Interpretability in expert evidence: an inquiry into the frontiers of evidential assessment
Biedermann Alex, Kotsoglou Kyriakos (2022), (Un-)Interpretability in expert evidence: an inquiry into the frontiers of evidential assessment, in Quaestio facti (Revista Internacional sobre Razonamiento Probatorio Quaestio facti. International Jo, 3, 481-515.
The strange persistence of (source) “identification” claims in forensic literature through descriptivism, diagnosticism and machinism
Biedermann Alex (2022), The strange persistence of (source) “identification” claims in forensic literature through descriptivism, diagnosticism and machinism, in Forensic Science International: Synergy, 4, 100222.
The logic of inference and decision for scientific evidence
Taroni Franco, Bozza Silvia, Biedermann Alex (2021), The logic of inference and decision for scientific evidence, in Dahlman Christian, Stein Alex, Tuzet Giovanni (ed.), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 251-266.
Decision Theory, Relative Plausibility and the Criminal Standard of Proof
Biedermann Alex, Caruso David, Kotsoglou Kyriakos N. (2021), Decision Theory, Relative Plausibility and the Criminal Standard of Proof, in Criminal Law and Philosophy, 15(2), 131-157.
Forensic science and the principle of excluded middle: “Inconclusive decisions” and the structure of error rate studies
Biedermann Alex, Kotsoglou Kyriakos (2021), Forensic science and the principle of excluded middle: “Inconclusive decisions” and the structure of error rate studies, in Forensic Science International: Synergy, 3, 100147.
DNA und Beweiswürdigung – Der statistische Rubikon und die Dogmatik der Identitätsfeststellung
Kotsoglou Kyriakos, Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle (2020), DNA und Beweiswürdigung – Der statistische Rubikon und die Dogmatik der Identitätsfeststellung, in Zeitschrift für die gesamte Strafrechtswissenschaft, 132(4), 891-937.
Decision theory
Taroni Franco, Bozza Silvia, Biedermann Alex (2020), Decision theory, in Tackett Maria, Banks David L., Kaye David H., Kafadar Karen (ed.), Chapman & Hall / CRC, Boca Rato, 103-130.
The Dialogue Between Forensic Scientists, Statisticians and Lawyers about Complex Scientific Issues for Court [E-book]
Pope Sue, Biedermann Alex (2020), The Dialogue Between Forensic Scientists, Statisticians and Lawyers about Complex Scientific Issues for Court [E-book], Frontiers Media SA, Lausanne.
Digital evidence exceptionalism? A review and discussion of conceptual hurdles in digital evidence transformation
Biedermann Alex, Kotsoglou Kyriakos N. (2020), Digital evidence exceptionalism? A review and discussion of conceptual hurdles in digital evidence transformation, in Forensic Science International: Synergy, 2, 262-274.
Editorial: The Dialogue Between Forensic Scientists, Statisticians and Lawyers About Complex Scientific Issues for Court
Pope Sue, Biedermann Alex (2020), Editorial: The Dialogue Between Forensic Scientists, Statisticians and Lawyers About Complex Scientific Issues for Court, in Frontiers in Genetics, 11(704), 1-2.
Assessing AI output in legal decision-making with nearest neighbors
Lau Timothy, Biedermann Alex (2020), Assessing AI output in legal decision-making with nearest neighbors, Penn State Law, University Park, PA 16802.
L'individualizzazione come decisione
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco (2020), L'individualizzazione come decisione, in Philosophical Readings, 12(2), 335-347.
Letter to the Editor: Commentary on “Is it possible to predict the origin of epithelial cells? – A comparison of secondary transfer of skin epithelial cells versus vaginal mucous membrane cells by direct contact, M.M. Bouzga et al., Science & Justice, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2020.02.003”
Biedermann Alex (2020), Letter to the Editor: Commentary on “Is it possible to predict the origin of epithelial cells? – A comparison of secondary transfer of skin epithelial cells versus vaginal mucous membrane cells by direct contact, M.M. Bouzga et al., Science & Justice, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2020.02.003”, in Science & Justice, 60(3), 201-203.
How can a forensic result be a "decision"? A critical analysis of ongoing reforms of forensic reporting formats for federal examiners
Cole Simon, Biedermann Alex (2020), How can a forensic result be a "decision"? A critical analysis of ongoing reforms of forensic reporting formats for federal examiners, University of Houston, Houston Law Review, Houston.
Normative decision analysis in forensic science
Biedermann A., Bozza S., Taroni F. (2020), Normative decision analysis in forensic science, in Artificial Intelligence and Law, 28(1), 7-25.
Computational normative decision support structures of forensic interpretation in the legal process
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Vuille Joëlle (2020), Computational normative decision support structures of forensic interpretation in the legal process, in SCRIPTed: A Journal of Law, Technology and Society, 17(1), 83-124.
Une preuve scientifique suffit-elle pour fonder une condamnation pénale?
Vuille Joëlle, Biedermann Alex (2019), Une preuve scientifique suffit-elle pour fonder une condamnation pénale?, in Revue de droit suisse, 138(5), 491-512.
Problematic reporting in DNA cases: the need for accredited formats and certified reporting competence
Hicks Tacha, Biedermann Alex, Taroni Franco, Champod Christophe (2019), Problematic reporting in DNA cases: the need for accredited formats and certified reporting competence, in Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series, 7(1), 205-207.
In Support of a Decisional Paradigm to Assisted Dying
Caruso David, Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle, Gilby Danielle (2019), In Support of a Decisional Paradigm to Assisted Dying, in Criminal Law Journal, 43(4), 254-273.
Letter to the editor: Commentary on “Strategic choice in linear sequential unmasking, Roger Koppl, Science & Justice, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2018.10.010”
Biedermann Alex, Gittelson Simone (2019), Letter to the editor: Commentary on “Strategic choice in linear sequential unmasking, Roger Koppl, Science & Justice, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2018.10.010”, in Science & Justice, 59(3), 362-365.
“Source” or “activity” What is the level of issue in a criminal trial?
Jackson Graham, Biedermann Alex (2019), “Source” or “activity” What is the level of issue in a criminal trial?, in Significance, 16(2), 36-39.
Commentary on “Dennis McNevin, Bayesian interpretation of discrete class characteristics, Forensic Sci. Int. 292 (2018) 125–130”
Biedermann Alex, Hicks Tacha (2019), Commentary on “Dennis McNevin, Bayesian interpretation of discrete class characteristics, Forensic Sci. Int. 292 (2018) 125–130”, in Forensic Science International, 297, e20-e21.
Are Inconclusive Decisions in Forensic Science as Deficient as They Are Said to Be?
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Vuille Joëlle (2019), Are Inconclusive Decisions in Forensic Science as Deficient as They Are Said to Be?, in Frontiers in Psychology, 10(520), 1-9.
Correspondances partielles d’ADN et identifications erronées
Vuille Joëlle, Biedermann Alex (2019), Correspondances partielles d’ADN et identifications erronées, Staempfli, Bern.
Le déclin du mythe de l'infaillibilité des empreintes digitales
Vuille Joëlle, Biedermann Alex (2019), Le déclin du mythe de l'infaillibilité des empreintes digitales, Staempfli SA, Berne.
Auf Fingerabdrücke ist nicht immer Verlass
Vuille Joëlle, Biedermann Alex (2019), Auf Fingerabdrücke ist nicht immer Verlass, Plädoyer : das Magazin für Recht und Politik, Zürich.
Letter to the Editor — Commentary on: Dror IG, Langenburg G. “Cannot decide”: the fine line between appropriate inconclusive determinations versus unjustifiably deciding not to decide
Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco (2019), Letter to the Editor — Commentary on: Dror IG, Langenburg G. “Cannot decide”: the fine line between appropriate inconclusive determinations versus unjustifiably deciding not to decide, in Journal of Forensic Sciences, 64(1), 318-321.
A formal approach to qualifying and quantifying the 'goodness' of forensic identification decisions
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Garbolino Paolo (2018), A formal approach to qualifying and quantifying the 'goodness' of forensic identification decisions, in Law, Probability and Risk, 17(4), 295-310.
Understanding the logic of forensic identification decisions (without numbers)
Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle (2018), Understanding the logic of forensic identification decisions (without numbers), in sui-generis, 397-413.
Decisional Dimensions in Expert Witness Testimony – A Structural Analysis
Biedermann Alex, Kotsoglou Kyriakos N. (2018), Decisional Dimensions in Expert Witness Testimony – A Structural Analysis, in Frontiers in Psychology, 9(2073), 1-15.
Evaluation of forensic genetics findings given activity level propositions: A review
Taylor Duncan, Kokshoorn Bas, Biedermann Alex (2018), Evaluation of forensic genetics findings given activity level propositions: A review, in Forensic Science International: Genetics, 36, 34-49.
独特性之后:法庭科学意见的演进 (After uniqueness: the evolution of forensic science opinions)
Thompson William, Vuille Joëlle, Taroni Franco, Biedermann Alex, Wang Zhuhao (2018), 独特性之后:法庭科学意见的演进 (After uniqueness: the evolution of forensic science opinions), in Evidence Science, 26(4), 503-513.
Statistical Adhockeries Are No Criteria for Legal Decisions—The Case of the Expert Medical Report on the Assessment of Urine Specimens Collected Among Athletes Having Participated to the Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympic Games
Taroni Franco, Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle, Bozza Silvia (2018), Statistical Adhockeries Are No Criteria for Legal Decisions—The Case of the Expert Medical Report on the Assessment of Urine Specimens Collected Among Athletes Having Participated to the Vancouver and Sochi Winter Olympic Games, in Frontiers in Sociology, 3, 1-3.
The Decisional Nature of Probability and Plausibility Assessments in Juridical Evidence and Proof
Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle (2018), The Decisional Nature of Probability and Plausibility Assessments in Juridical Evidence and Proof, in International Commentary on Evidence, 16(1), 1-30.
Critical analysis of forensic cut-offs and legal thresholds: a coherent approach to inference and decision
Biedermann Alex, Taroni Franco, Bozza Silvia, Augsburger Marc, Aitken Colin (2018), Critical analysis of forensic cut-offs and legal thresholds: a coherent approach to inference and decision, in Forensic Science International, 72-80.
Commentary: Likelihood Ratio as Weight of Forensic Evidence: A Closer Look
Aitken Colin, Nordgaard Anders, Taroni Franco, Biedermann Alex (2018), Commentary: Likelihood Ratio as Weight of Forensic Evidence: A Closer Look, in Frontiers in Genetics, 9, 1-2.
After uniqueness: the evolution of forensic science opinions
Thompson William, Vuille Joëlle, Taroni Franco, Biedermann Alex (2018), After uniqueness: the evolution of forensic science opinions, in Judicature, (1), 18-27.
A template for constructing Bayesian networks in forensic biology cases when considering activity level propositions
Taylor Duncan, Biedermann Alex, Hicks Tacha, Champod Christophe (2018), A template for constructing Bayesian networks in forensic biology cases when considering activity level propositions, in Forensic Science International: Genetics, 136-146.
Analysing and exemplifying forensic conclusion criteria in terms of Bayesian decision theory
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco (2018), Analysing and exemplifying forensic conclusion criteria in terms of Bayesian decision theory, in Science & Justice, 159-165.
Development of European standards for evaluative reporting in forensic science: The gap between intentions and perceptions
Biedermann Alex, Champod Christophe, Willis Sheila (2017), Development of European standards for evaluative reporting in forensic science: The gap between intentions and perceptions, in The International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 14-29.
Helping to distinguish primary from secondary transfer events for trace DNA
Taylor Duncan, Biedermann Alex, Samie Lydie, Pun Ka-Man, Hicks Tacha, Champod Christophe (2017), Helping to distinguish primary from secondary transfer events for trace DNA, in Forensic Science International: Genetics, 155-177.
Les nouvelles lignes directrices du European Network of Forensic Science Institutes en matière d’évaluation et de communication des résultats d’analyses et d’expertises scientifiques
Moreillon Laurent, Vuille Joëlle, Biedermann Alex, Champod Christophe (2017), Les nouvelles lignes directrices du European Network of Forensic Science Institutes en matière d’évaluation et de communication des résultats d’analyses et d’expertises scientifiques, in forumpoenale, 105-110.
Preface for the 2nd ISSSES special issue
Biedermann Alex, Zhang Baosheng (2017), Preface for the 2nd ISSSES special issue, in Journal of Forensic Science and Medicine, 47-48.
Reconsiderando la individualizacion forense como una decision (Rethinking forensic individualization as a decision)
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Lucena Molina José Juan (2017), Reconsiderando la individualizacion forense como una decision (Rethinking forensic individualization as a decision), in Revista Espanola de Medicina Legal, 87-88.
Reply to Morrison et al. (2016) Refining the relevant population in forensic voice comparison - A response to Hicks et alii (2015) The importance of distinguishing information from evidence
Hicks Tacha, Biedermann Alex, de Koeijer Jan, Taroni Franco, Champod Christophe, Evett Ian (2017), Reply to Morrison et al. (2016) Refining the relevant population in forensic voice comparison - A response to Hicks et alii (2015) The importance of distinguishing information from evidence, in Science & Justice, 401-402.
The consequences of understanding expert probability reporting as a decision
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Aitken Colin (2017), The consequences of understanding expert probability reporting as a decision, in Science & Justice, 80-85.
The meaning of justified subjectivism and its role in the reconciliation of recent disagreements over forensic probabilism
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Aitken Colin (2017), The meaning of justified subjectivism and its role in the reconciliation of recent disagreements over forensic probabilism, in Science & Justice, 477-483.
Towards a Bayesian evaluation of features in questioned handwritten signatures
Gaborini Lorenzo, Biedermann Alex, Taroni Franco (2017), Towards a Bayesian evaluation of features in questioned handwritten signatures, in Science & Justice, 209-220.
“同一认定”中的意见决策论 (The decisionalization of individualization)
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Li Bing, Zhao Dong (2016), “同一认定”中的意见决策论 (The decisionalization of individualization), in Evidence Science, 627-641.
Analysis and evaluation of magnetism of black toners on documents printed by electrophotographic systems
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Fürbach Martin, Li Bing, Mazzella Williams (2016), Analysis and evaluation of magnetism of black toners on documents printed by electrophotographic systems, in Fornesic Science International, 157-165.
Digital evidence, 'absence' of data and ambiguous patterns of reasoning
Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle (2016), Digital evidence, 'absence' of data and ambiguous patterns of reasoning, in Digital Investigation, S86-S96.
Discussion on how to implement a verbal scale in a forensic laboratory: Benefits, pitfalls and suggestions to avoid misunderstandings
Marquis Raymond, Biedermann Alex, Cadola Liv, Champod Christophe, Gueissaz Line, Massonnet Geneviève, Mazzella Williams, Taroni Franco, Hicks Tacha (2016), Discussion on how to implement a verbal scale in a forensic laboratory: Benefits, pitfalls and suggestions to avoid misunderstandings, in Science & Justice, 364-370.
Dismissal of the illusion of uncertainty in the assessment of a likelihood ratio (with discussion)
Taroni Franco, Bozza Silvia, Biedermann Alex, Aitken Colin (2016), Dismissal of the illusion of uncertainty in the assessment of a likelihood ratio (with discussion), in Law, Probability & Risk, 1-16.
ENFSI Guideline for evaluative reporting in forensic science: A primer for legal practitioners
Champod Christophe, Biedermann Alex, Vuille Joëlle, Willis Sheila, De Kinder Jan (2016), ENFSI Guideline for evaluative reporting in forensic science: A primer for legal practitioners, in Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, 189-193.
Evaluation of forensic DNA traces when propositions of interest relate to activities: analysis and discussion of recurrent concerns
Biedermann Alex, Champod Christophe, Jackson Graham, Gill Peter, Taylor Duncan, Butler John, Morling Niels, Hicks Tacha, Vuille Joëlle, Taroni Franco (2016), Evaluation of forensic DNA traces when propositions of interest relate to activities: analysis and discussion of recurrent concerns, in Frontiers in Genetics, Statistical Genetics and Methodology, 1-12.
La naturaleza decisoria de las conclusiones de los expertos en ciencia forense (The decisionalization of individualization)
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco (2016), La naturaleza decisoria de las conclusiones de los expertos en ciencia forense (The decisionalization of individualization), in Teoria y derecho, 262-284.
Reframing the debate: a question of probability, not of likelihood ratio
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco, Aitken Colin (2016), Reframing the debate: a question of probability, not of likelihood ratio, in Science & Justice, 392-396.
Rejoinder
Taroni Franco, Bozza Silvia, Biedermann Alex, Aitken Colin (2016), Rejoinder, in Law, Probability & Risk, 31-34.
Statistical hypothesis testing and common misinterpretations: Should we abandon p-value in forensic science applications?
Taroni Franco, Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia (2016), Statistical hypothesis testing and common misinterpretations: Should we abandon p-value in forensic science applications?, in Forensic Science International, e32-e36.
The decisionalization of individualization
Biedermann Alex, Bozza Silvia, Taroni Franco (2016), The decisionalization of individualization, in Forensic Science International, 29-38.
The importance of critically examining the level of propositions when evaluating forensic DNA results
Biedermann Alex, Hicks Tacha (2016), The importance of critically examining the level of propositions when evaluating forensic DNA results, in Frontiers in Genetics, Genomic Assay Technology, 1-4.
Coherent decisionalism: structural elements of communication between experts and fact-finders
KotsoglouKyriakos, BiedermannAlex, Coherent decisionalism: structural elements of communication between experts and fact-finders, in The Journal of Criminal Law.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Northwestern University; Pritzker School of Law (Prof. Jonathan Koehler) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of California Irvine; UCI School of Social Ecology (Prof. Simon Cole) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Northumbria University; School of Law (Dr. Kyriakos Kotsoglou) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Université de Fribourg; Chaire de droit pénal et de criminologie (Prof. Joëlle Vuille) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Federal Judicial Center; Research Unit (Dr. Timothy T. Lau) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
China University of Political Science and Law; Inst. of Ev. Law and Forensic Sc. (Prof. Wang) China (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Edinburgh; School of Mathematics (Professor Colin Aitken) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
IUAV University of Venice; Dep. of Arts and Architecture (Prof. Paolo Garbolino) Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Department of Economics (Prof. Silvia Bozza) Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Vanderbilt Law School Evidence Summer Workshop (2020; online) Talk given at a conference Assessing AI output in legal decision-making with nearest neighbors 06.08.2020 Nashville, United States of America Biedermann Alex;
Penn State Law Review Symposium on Advanced Technology and the Law (2020; cancelled du to COVID-19 pandemic) Talk given at a conference Assessing AI output in legal decision-making with nearest neighbors 20.03.2020 University Park, United States of America Biedermann Alex;
Decision-Support in Litigation (2019) Talk given at a conference Assessing the value of forensic science results in strategic legal decision analysis 06.12.2019 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Bozza Silvia; Vuille Joëlle; Biedermann Alex;
The Future of Crime Labs and Forensic Science (2019) Talk given at a conference How Can a Forensic Result be a "Decision"? 22.08.2019 Houston, United States of America Cole Simon; Biedermann Alex;
Workshop 'Probabilistic Reasoning and Decision-Making of Forensic Evidence' at the The Alan Turing Institute (London, UK) Individual talk Evidence evaluation given activity level propositions: current issues and pending challenges 15.04.2019 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Biedermann Alex;
18th Annual Meeting of the ENFSI Fingerprint Working Group (2018) Individual talk Workshop 'Fingerprints and probabilities' 04.09.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Biedermann Alex;
8th European Academy of Forensic Science Conference (2018) Individual talk Workshop 'Fingerprints and probabilities' 27.08.2018 Lyon, France Biedermann Alex;
7th International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science 2019 (ICELFS) Talk given at a conference The decisional nature of probability and plausibility assessments in juridical evidence and proof 31.07.2018 Freiburg i.B., Germany Biedermann Alex; Vuille Joëlle;
3rd International Symposium on Sino Swiss Evidence Science Talk given at a conference Decisional dimensions in expert witness testimony – A structural analysis 25.06.2018 Hangzhou, China Kotsoglou Kyriakos; Biedermann Alex;
49th meeting of the Italian Statistical Society (SIS 2018) Talk given at a conference Evaluation and reporting of scientific evidence: the impact of partial probability assignments 20.06.2018 Palermo, Italy Bozza Silvia; Biedermann Alex;
Colloquium Interlabo GERN (2018) Individual talk Remarques conclusives 02.03.2018 Brussels, Belgium Vuille Joëlle;
Impression, Pattern and Trace Evidence Symposium (IPTES 2018) Individual talk The anatomy of forensic identification decisions: rethinking current reporting practice in a decision-theoretic perspective 24.01.2018 Arlington, United States of America Biedermann Alex;
10th International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Talk given at a conference Statistical issues in the assignment and reporting of Bayes factor for multivariate evidential data 05.09.2017 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America Bozza Silvia; Biedermann Alex;
10th International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Talk given at a conference Relaxing the assumption of a direct person-source relationship in the evaluation of scientific findings given activity level propositions 05.09.2017 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America Bozza Silvia; Biedermann Alex;
10th International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Talk given at a conference A formal approach to qualifying and quantifying the 'goodness' of forensic identification decisions 05.09.2017 Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America Bozza Silvia; Biedermann Alex;
6th International Conference on Evidence Law and Forensic Science (ICELFS 2017), Baltimore, Maryland Talk given at a conference Critical analysis of forensic cut-offs and legal thresholds: a coherent approach to inference and decision 14.08.2017 Baltimore, United States of America Biedermann Alex; Bozza Silvia;
Statistics4@Florence (Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni “Giuseppe Parenti” (DISIA), Università degli Studi di Firenze) Talk given at a conference Statistical issues in the evaluation and reporting of scientific evidence at trial 03.07.2017 Florence, Italy Bozza Silvia; Biedermann Alex;
DFRWS Europe 2016, 3rd Annual Digital Forensics Research Conference, University of Lausanne Individual talk Panel discussion 'Conclusions scales or likelihood ratios in digital forensic science' 01.04.2017 Lausanne, Switzerland Biedermann Alex;
CodeX (The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics) Group meeting (presented remotely) Individual talk NORMDECS: Normative decision structures of forensic interpretation in the legal process 26.01.2017 Stanford, United States of America Biedermann Alex;
2nd International Symposium on Sino Swiss Evidence Science, University of Lausanne Talk given at a conference Evaluation of forensic DNA traces when propositions of interest relate to activities: analysis and discussion of recurrent concerns 05.09.2016 Lausanne, Switzerland Biedermann Alex;
The nature of questions arising in court that can be addressed via probability and statistical methods (Workshop), Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge Talk given at a conference Recent Pan-European advances in harmonising evaluative reporting in forensic science: scope, principles and pending challenges 30.08.2016 Cambridge, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Biedermann Alex;
74th Annual General Meeting of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, 'The Changing Landscape of Forensic Document Examination: Toward an Empirical Future' Talk given at a conference Magnetism analysis of black & white electrophotographic printed documents 20.08.2016 Pensacola Beach, Florida, United States of America Biedermann Alex; Bozza Silvia;
The 26th Nordic Conference in Mathematical Statistics (Biennial conference organized by the Nordic statistical societies), University of Copenhagen Talk given at a conference Bayesian multilevel models for forensic data 27.06.2016 Copenhagen, Denmark Bozza Silvia;
Netherlands Forensic Institute Workshop on Theory and Implementation of Numerical Likelihood Ratio Methods Talk given at a conference Single likelihood ratios vs ranges of likelihood ratios 23.05.2016 The Hague, Netherlands Biedermann Alex; Bozza Silvia;
3rd Annual Digital Forensics Research Conference, DFRWS 2016 Europe (Digital Forensic Research Workshop), University of Lausanne Talk given at a conference Digital evidence, 'absence' of data and ambiguous patterns of reasoning 29.03.2016 Lausanne, Switzerland Biedermann Alex; Vuille Joëlle;
University of Nottingham, School of Law, Criminal Justice Research Centre, Criminal Justice Discussion Group Individual talk Scientific evidence as criminal proof: a Swiss homicide case-study 10.02.2016 Nottingham, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Biedermann Alex;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Decision-Support in Litigation (2019) 06.12.2019 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
3rd International Symposium on Sino Swiss Evidence Science (2018) 25.06.2018 Hangzhou, China

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
The evolution of forensic science reporting; CPD (Continuing Professional Development) presentation for members of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the laboratory "Forensic Science South Australia" Talk 06.03.2018 Adelaide, Australia Biedermann Alex; Caruso David;
18th Annual National Prosecutors' Conference, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Talk "The evolution of forensic science reporting" Talk 25.11.2017 Dublin, Ireland Biedermann Alex;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Session on the ENFSI Guideline for Evaluative Reporting, Information session given to the EUROJUST College of National Members (Agency of the European Union dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters) 17.06.2016 The Hague, Netherlands

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Forensic inference and decision analysis Project Website (based on Wordpress blog) International 2016

Awards

Title Year
NIFS Award: Best Literature Review (Highly Commended). Award received from the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS, Australia and New Zealand) for the paper 'Evaluation of forensic genetics findings given activity level propositions: a review' (by Duncan Taylor, Bas Kokshoorn, Alex Biedermann, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 2018, 36, 34–49). 2019
NIFS Award: Best Paper in a Refereed Journal (Highly Commended). Award received from the National Institute of Forensic Science (NIFS, Australia and New Zealand) for the paper 'A template for constructing Bayesian networks in forensic biology cases when considering activity level propositions' (by Duncan Taylor, Alex Biedermann, Tacha Hicks and Christophe Champod, Forensic Science International: Genetics (Elsevier), 33, 136–146.) 2018
SNSF Professorship awarded to Dr. Joëlle Vuille, for her project 'The Regulation of Forensic Science Evidence in Europe', to be conducted at University of Fribourg Law School (starting 01.01.2019). 2018
University of Michigan Law School (Ann Arbor, MI, USA), Michigan Grotius Research Scholarship, awarded to Alex Biedermann for a visiting research stay University of Michigan Law School. 2018
Fellowship "Aim for the Stars Grant" by the University of Adelaide, Australia, awarded to Alex Biedermann. The Aim for the Stars Grant Program brings global leaders in their fields to the University of Adelaide. The Grant provides for expenses (travel and accommodation) in taking a short visiting position at the Adelaide Law School of the University of Adelaide in Spring 2018. 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
150276 Ontology for normative combinations of evidence in forensic science: an approach using graphical probabilistic analyses 01.02.2014 Project funding
1 Schlussband (Bd. VI) der Jacob Burckhardt-Biographie 01.10.1975 Project funding
144557 Current challenges of forensic DNA mixture analysis: a probabilistic approach to evaluate results of a novel DNA marker system 01.11.2012 Project funding

Abstract

At a time when there are over 9 million criminal proceedings in the EU every year, and the European Commission is promoting principles such as equality of arms to provide all parties with the protection of a fair trial, it is discomforting to learn that decades of behavioural studies have shown that practical human decision-making is not as good as we think it is. It is regularly liable to many forms of inconsistency. Also, with a public and media that tend to be more demanding and less forgiving, inference and decision-making in legal contexts with its potentially pervading consequences for defendants’ personal lives attract utmost attention. Much current research concentrates on a descriptive approach to this topic, in the sense of analysing instances of potential miscarriages of justice, but researchers largely avoid the normative questions of how thinking and decision-making ought to be assessed (e.g., logical coherence). Most likely, this is because normative insight often reveals where intuitive perceptions go astray, which is a result that people dislike. Our proposal for a way to deal with this risky topic is to act on the interdependency between forensic science and the law. By relying on the most recent concepts for graphical decision-analytic modelling, this project takes on the task of working out normative decision schemes through which forensic scientists and other participants in legal proceedings can beneficially interact when using scientific evidence as a core element in legal decision-making. The focus is on forensic interpretation, which is the use of forensic science to help reduce uncertainty about propositions of legal interest. The normative perspective makes this project both deep-probing and penetrating, as it will provide compelling analytical schemes with a computational basis to ensure clarity, balance and transparency along with argumentative rigor, and a host of fundamental insights into the workings of contemporary legal systems.
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