The latest primer for the courts, on the use of statistics in legal proceedings, has been published by the Royal Society.
The judicial primers project is a unique collaboration between members of the judiciary, the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Designed to assist the judiciary when handling scientific evidence in the courtroom, the primers have been written by leading scientists and members of the judiciary, peer reviewed by practitioners, and approved by the Councils of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Each primer presents an easily understood and accurate position on the scientific topic in question, as well as considering the limitations of the science, challenges associated with its application and an explanation of how the scientific area is used within the judicial system. The primers are created under the direction of a Steering Group chaired by Dame Anne Rafferty and distributed to courts in conjunction with the Judicial College, the Judicial Institute, and the Judicial Studies Board for Northern Ireland.
The first two primers on forensic DNA analysis, and forensic gait analysis, have also been published, with the next in the series on ballistic forensics. If you have suggestions for further topics in the primers series, please contact the Royal Society.