- What can examiners reasonably claim when testifying in court?
- What is the most effective way to present forensic evidence to juries?
- On what basis should judges admit forensic testimony?
- Should examiners report opinions or statistics?
Courts rely heavily on forensic evidence to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. The presentation of flawed forensic evidence has obvious implications for individual cases, but raises questions about the integrity of the entire criminal justice system—innocent people may be wrongly convicted and people may lose trust in the justice system.
Researchers and examiners on The Forensic Reasoning Project are working to maximise the reliability of forensic evidence, and the value of expert testimony, by examining forensic decision making. There is much research needed to develop a contemporary model of forensic testimony. Several debates on this topic are raging internationally between academics, statisticians, lawyers, and forensic examiners.
We are developing a contemporary model of expert testimony that is based on experimental findings, which reflects the capabilities of forensic examiners and can be understood by judges and juries.