On 27 February 2017 the RSS Glasgow local group hosted a joint event with the Statistics & the Law section of the RSS. The audience of 45+ were treated to an excellent double bill event from Professor Jane Hutton of the University of Warwick and Dr Tereza Neocleous from the University of Glasgow (both committee members of the Statistics & Law section) with the event introduced and chaired by Dr Claire Miller from the RSS Glasgow local group.
Jane Hutton provided the audience with a fascinating insight into her experiences as an expert witness evaluating Epidemiological evidence in civil legal cases, in which one party claims damages from a second party, or demands particular actions. Examples were discussed including life expectancy and antiepileptic drugs, and Hutton explained the challenges and advantages for statisticians to contribute to civil law suits emphasizing the important role for statisticians in finding evidence relevant to the particular case, evaluating it, and presenting the information.
The audience were also enthralled by Dr Neocleous’ engaging presentation on statistical models for forensic speaker comparison, which can be used to evaluate the evidential value of voice recordings such as those occurring in hoax phone calls, calls related to extortion or fraud cases. Neocleous presented examples of how vocal features extracted from such recordings can be modelled to provide a measure of the strength of evidence for such events and hence contribute to potential legal cases.