Law and statistics, a perfect combination?
A study of the level of interpretation of statistical forensic evidence in criminal trials by Dutch courts
This paper examines the impact of the publication of a report of the Dutch council of jurisdiction in 2009 on the level of interpretation of forensic evidence by Dutch courts by using an ordered probit model. This paper also investigates if there is a difference in the interpretation level between the low and high courts in the Netherlands as well as if the seriousness of the crime and the penalty given to the defendant have any impact on the latent variable. The results suggest that the level of interpretation of statistical forensic evidence by Dutch courts did not improve significantly after the publication of the report. Likewise, judges at the high courts do not interpret forensic evidence in a better way than their colleagues at the low courts and there is no evidence that both the seriousness of the crime and the penalty have a significant impact.