Statistics and the Law

The Section started in 2015. It evolved from a working group of the same name set up in the early 2000s when the Society wrote to the Lord Chancellor and made a statement setting out concerns around the case of Sally Clark and miscalculation of the probability of two cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in a family.

The purpose of the Section is to enable the Society to make informed and influential contributions to the administration of justice as well as encouraging research and disseminating knowledge amongst the statistical, legal, forensic science and forensic medicine communities. The remit includes civil law as well as criminal law.

The group has produced four law practitioner guides, sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation, for judges, lawyers, forensic scientists and expert witnesses.

In 2017, the Section produced a Statistics and Probability guide for advocates with the Inns of Court College of Advocacy.

The Section has also produced a Summary of Guides on the available documents and guidelines that have been produced to assist legal and forensic practitioners in the interpretation of forensic evidence; including details on which organisations have endorsed the guides.


The Statistics and the Law Section Committee is currently preparing a report on approaches to interpreting clusters of events, such as cancer cases or deaths in clinical settings. It is our view that the correct interpretation of such clusters is technically difficult, demanding professional statistical expertise.
We expect to publish the report in 2022. 


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  • To improve the understanding and use of statistics in the administration of justice, both civil and criminal
  • To promote the research, development and dissemination of statistical and probabilistic reasoning in a forensic context
  • To be a catalyst within the statistics, forensic medicine, forensic science and legal communities for synergies in their activities
  • To consider and report appropriately on relevant issues concerning the use of statistics in the legislative process and act as a national focus for statisticians involved in research in forensic statistics or as consultants, eg as expert witnesses.

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Additional Information

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More information about the section can be found at

Annual Report 2021