The Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning

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Nov 7, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


The Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic
Statistics and Legal Reasoning

Director’s Report to Advisory Board

April 19 2002




Seminars given at Joseph Bell Centre

The following seminars have_been held at the Centre:

1) Wednesday November 7 2001

Dr. Austi
n Lovegrove, University of Melbourne, Victoria Australia

A numerical framework for the totality principle

: The principle of totality is important in determining what is

appropriate by way of sentence for multiple offenders. This paper exam

academic lawyers' ideas about what the totality principle means and attempts to

give them numerical precision.

John Zeleznikow is conducting work with Dr. Lovegrove and Dr. Uri Schild (Bar Ilan
University, Israel) on building sentencing information

2) Wednesday November 14


Dr. Anthony Forde,

Centre for Forensic Science, University of Central Lancashire

Serious Crime Analysis and Pattern Recognition; Understanding the basic
elements. A guide for Criminal Investigation

: The presentation will look at the training of criminal investigative analysts and
how they are focused upon pattern recognition. From here I will review basic bottom up
and top down processes in the recognition and perception of events and link this to
erious crime analysis, in particular, homicidal patterns as presented by the FBI
Behavioural Science Unit, which are used as the template by most investigative bodies in
pattern recognition of such events and therefore form the basis of inferences drawn ab
the offender and the scenario. I will then highlight how this information can be
misleading and can result in a flawed investigation and suggest ways of improving the
training and effectiveness of criminal analysts.

Anthony and I have agreed to investi
gate the development of a method to differentiate
between homicidal and suicidal death scenes. There are many police forces that have this
problem each year. Anthony will again visit the centre in the near future.

3) Wednesday November 14


Richard L
eary, DCI

Jill Dando Institute for Crime Science, University College, University of London

New Conceptual Opportunities in Forensic and Strategic Intelligence

A New Approach in a Changing World

Fruitful discussions with Richard Leary

are already underway. I visited him in
Birmingham on September 30

October 1 (when I also spoke to people at West
Midlands Police) and December 18
19. Richard is a partner in our POIROT project and
the Leverhulme grant application as well as being invo
lved in the Home Office Tender.
Richard would like to be more heavily involved in Centre projects, and I would like to
suggest that he be a consultant to a project comparing the way police and prosecutors
analyse and use evidence.

4) Wednesday November 21


Dr. John Zeleznikow

Director, Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning, Law School,
University of Edinburgh

The role of argumentation and negotiation in building legal knowledge based


5) Wednesday December 5 200

Professor Michael D. Cole

Department of Forensic Science and Chemistry, Anglia Polytechnic University


Multivariate analysis and predictive modelling in forensic science

for the new millennium

Abstract: Many of the forensic science dis
ciplines require the measurement of a number
of variables in order that a meaningful conclusion can be arrived at. These include the
well worked areas of the analysis and comparison of drugs and glass, but the methods
applied could equally well extend to o
ther forms of physical evidence including fibres,
paint, waxes and polishes. In this discussion, the types of data that can be derived from
the analysis of such materials are explored, the methods used for data interpretation
discussed and areas of defici
ency in interpretation are highlighted. An opportunity for
future collaborative research is identified,

Jeroen Keppens, Professor Cole and myself are investigating using some of Professor
Cole’s data to build computer systems to detect drug trafficking. J
eroen and I will visit
Anglia Polytechnical University in the near future.

6) Friday January 11 2002

Dr. Guido Governati

Department of Information Systems, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane,

Using Defeasible logic to model le
gal reasoning.

Abstract: Normative reasoning is by its own nature defeasible, thus any attempt to
formalise it should take care of this phenomenon. In this talk we will present Defeasible
Logic, an efficient and flexible non
monotonic logic, and we will ar
gue that, thanks to its
feature, it is appropriate to model some aspects of normative reasoning.

Guido and I are looking at the use of association rules in law.

7) Wednesday January 30 2002

Dr. Christophe Champod

The Forensic Science Service

n network to interpret trace evidence

Abstract: The presentation will concentrate on our recent research initiatives using
bayesian networks to explore the evidential value of both particulate evidence such as
glass or fibres and contact DNA. Bayesian netw
orks allow to represent complex
interactions and performing likelihood ratio calculations. They allow us to cope a level of
complexity which couldn't not be tackle before. Most of the development has been done
taking advantage of the functionality of Hugin

and the Bayes Nets toolbox (BNT)
developed for Matlab by K. Murphy. Hugin allowed to design and test the structure of the
bayesian networks. The BNT toolbox was used to perform sensitivity analysis.

8) Friday February 22 2002

Dr. Arno Lodder, Computer an
d Law Institute, Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands

At the crossroads of eADR and AI & Law: Can argumentation support tools
make a difference?

: An ever growing number of online Alternative Dispute Resolution (ODR or
eADR) providers can

be found on the internet. The offered services vary from simple
bidding software to sophisticated negotiation and mediation environments. The
online domain name dispute procedure of the ICANN is one of the most popular eADR
initiatives. Currentl
y there are several approved providers of which the WIPO
Arbitration and Mediation Center decides most cases. This online arbitration procedure
inspired me to develop a support tool, based on previous research on dialogical models of
argumentation. This de
liberately simple tool aims to facilitate the parties in structuring
their information into issues, supporting statements, etc. Besides the parties involved in
the dispute, also the deciding panel can benefit from the tool. Namely, the panel obtains
one s
tructured document in stead of unstructured texts of each of the parties.

In the presentation first a brief overview is given of both currently operating eADR
providers and relevant (non)
governmental documents by, e.g. the EU, GBDe, TACD,
OECD. Subsequen
tly the tool to structure the information exchange between parties in
eADR is discussed. Finally, the question whether adversarial argumentation models are a
right means to support parties in, mere consensus based, eADR is explored. Although in
the past I
claimed the tool can be used in, e.g. negotiation and mediation, I do have
doubts now. Hence, Alternative Dispute Resolution is an alternative to traditional dispute
resolution, but is also called alternative because the approach to dispute resolution is
different. Parties in an 'alternative' dispute do not primarily try to fight each other as
opposing parties, but rather aim at finding a solution for their problem co
operatively. It
is therefore questionable whether the tool is also suited for other forms

of eADR than
online arbitration.

John Zeleznikow has an on
going interest in building computer tools to support
Alternative Dispute Resolution. He and Dr. Lodder will conduct joint work with regard
to using argumentation, dialogical reasoning and game th
eory to build models of
negotiation for on
line dispute resolution. Dr. Lodder will return to give a seminar at
Glasgow Caledonian University in May.

9) Wednesday March 6 2001

Franco Taroni
, University of Lausanne

Criminalistics in a World of

Attention has to be drawn on scientific evidence and the way analytical results
are expressed by experts. It important to enlighten thearguments dating back to the
beginning of the century concerning questions of actuality, notably
(a) how to express
conclusions following a scientific examination and (2) how a probabilistic argument
should be presented. New areas of research in forensic science (such as drugs
intelligence, document examination and speaker recognition) offer the oppor
tunity for a
discussion on conclusions allowed to experts and the statistical method underlying

Colin Aitken is working with Dr. Taroni and is writing a book with him.

Upcoming seminars will be given by: Henry Prakken (University of Utrecht), B
Ewart, Ian Evett, Jean Hall (La Trobe University), Marie
Francine Moens (University of
Leuven), Ian Tebbit, Peter Tillers


Seminars given by members of the Joseph Bell Centre

1) Dr. John Zeleznikow, Cardozo Law School, Monday 10 September 2001: Title:
Building Intelligent Legal Decision Support Systems

2) Dr. John Zeleznikow, Department of Computer Science, University of Southampton,
Monday 5 November 2001:

Title: The role of argumentation and negotiation in building legal knowledge based


3) D
r. John Zeleznikow, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of
Edinburgh, Monday 26 November 2001.

Title:Deductive and inductive approaches to reasoning in law

5) Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Stirling, Friday
March 2002.

6) Division of Law, Glasgow Caledonian University, Friday 8 March 2002

7) Department of Computer Science, University of Aberdeen, Wednesday 13 March

8) Harvard Law School

discussions in evidence class

April 10 2002

9) Department of

Computer Science, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts,
April 11 2002

10) Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin (formerly GMD), Tuesday April 23 2002.


Management School, Queens University of Belfast, Tuesday May 7 2002.


Department of Computer Science, Unive
rsity of Birmingham, Monday 20 2002.


Department of Computer Science, Brunel University, Wednesday 22 2002.


Grant Proposals


FF POIROT project

The FF POIROT project aims at building a relevant computer
based multilingual
semantic resource in the financial/
legal domain that may be used in information systems
by law enforcement and financial professionals alike in order to prevent/detect instances
of attempted or actual financial fraud. Examples of fraud targeted by such systems could
be e.g. abuse of VAT mec
hanisms, insider trading in securities exchange or money

The semantic resource to be designed, populated and maintained is called an ontology,
and actually will be a set of mutually aligned ontologies sharing a set of multilingual
terminology b
ases over relevant subsets of the domains involved, i.e. (international)
finance, accounting and banking, tax law, police procedure and evidence handling, and
general legal and law enforcement knowledge. The resulting domain is referred to as
financial fo

The objective of FF POIROT is to develop and deploy on the internet, part or all of the
content of such an ontology about the financial forensics domain, as part of a set of
Semantic Web services that exploit it, for instance as an XML database or

as an RDF
Schema instance.

Providing such an ontology and with relevant content, constructed essentially in three

1) by direct modeling of the domain(s); mostly relevant for the domain's upper ontology.

2) by mining its elements from existing docume

and semi
structured corpora including
the Internet;

3) by mapping/migrating existing ontologies into it ("aligning").

All three approaches are required in POIROT and consortium partners will apply their
existing technology or develop specific tools for

each of these ways, resulting in a
resource that can ultimately become standardised.

The FF POIROT partners will work towards constructing an ontology for the
interpretation of evidence with regard to financial fraud in the European Community.

At the star
t of the project, they will through the use of structured interviews and
their own expertise accumulate information necessary for the construction of a
financial forensics ontology. Next they will use sources of law and interviews with
lawyers, police, in
dustry and academics to model ontologies related to financial

Existing terminology on financial and legal
financial matters will also be used as a basis
for the ontology. Terminologists will extract terminology from samples of the (mono
ilingual) document corpora which will be used for ontology and compile a
multilingual terminological database(in Dutch, Italian, French and English initially) in
accordance with estabished state
art principles. Two different methods for
al data collection will be used: the first starting from documents on the same
subject in several languages, the second starting from "parallel document corpora" i.e.
containing instances of the same document in multiple languages.

The work of extracting o
r mining ontology contents from the available texts sources,
provided by the users, will make use of Natural Language Processing (NLP)
techonologies. This will imply initial refinement and (re)engineering actions, needed for
porting existing tools to the f
our target languages.

Techniques, tools and guidelines will be developed to support the alignment of ontologies
from different domains. The developed software component(s) will then be used to align
the different domain ontologies into an integrated financ
ial forensics ontology.

The developer partners will then coordinate the trial by the user partners of the
ontology developed. Techniques to be used include user
satisfaction surveys,
interviews with outside domain experts and the trialing of the ontology (
and integrated) on previously unseen cases.

*** bold typeface indicates work to be conducted by the Joseph Bell Centre.



Financial Fraud Prevention
Oriented Information Resources using
Ontology Technology

was accepted for funding by
the European Union’s IST
(Information, Technology, Society) project under the subtopic of the semantic web. On
behalf of the Centre, I took responsibility for the user modeling and evaluation
workpackages. We are also involved in a minor way in other wor

Partners are: (1) Free University (Brussels, Belgium), (2) Joseph Bell Centre For Forensic
Statistics and Legal Reasoning (University of Edinburgh, UK), (3) Erasmushogesschool,
Vakgroep voor vaktaal en communicatie (Brussels, Belgium), (4) Kno
wledge Stones
S.p.A (Rome, Italy), (5) Commisione nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (Rome, Italy),
(6) Index NV (Veurne, Belgium), (7) VAT Applications NV (Grimbergen, Belgium), (8)
Swiss Life (Zurich, Switzerland).

We receive a total of E279,128 and E4
6,521 in on
costs. The project runs 1/9/02 until
31/08/05. We have 42 man months of labour, E9,900 for equipment, and E28,460 for
travel. Most of our work is in years one and three of the project.


A copy of the application is available.


Tuesday April 9, representatives of the Free University of Brussels, Knowledgestones
(Italy) and myself me European Union staff to conduct negotiation meetings with respect
to FF POIROT. The Centre was successful in receiving 100% of the funding it



The BELLCOLLAB project aims to bring together leading researchers from across the
world in the areas of artificial intelligence, law and statistics to examine the analysis,
interpretation and presentation of evidence and intellig
ence. It will supplement the
existing research team at the JBC, leading to world
class research in the domain.

As a result of this research, we will design systems based on sound investigative
techniques that will assist police and other investigators in
criminal enquiries. This
research will have value for all jurisdictions across the world.

BELLCOLLAB is seeking annual financial support (for three years) for nine scholars to
visit the JBC regularly for each year of the project. The total amount requeste
d is
per annum, for each of three years. It includes a small amount for secretarial and
consumable costs.

The BELLCOLLAB project will support


the holding of a workshop, in August 2002, on the cognitive modelling of evidence
and intelligence. The
proceedings of the workshop will be widely distributed both
electronically and through submission to peer
reviewed journals;


a series of regular visits to the JBC by United Kingdom and international experts
leading to increased research output at the JBC,
the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow
Caledonian University and other United Kingdom universities. The research outcomes
of these visits will be widely disseminated.

The second round proposal was submitted on March 21 2002. We asked for £
from 1/8/0
2 until 31/7/05. The answer will not be known until July. In the mean
we are continuing with the 2002 workshop on modelling evidence and intelligence to

held at Glasgow Caledonian University

August 20
23 2002

The first in a series of annual wo
rkshops devoted to constructing computer tools to
analyse, evaluate, present and interpret evidence
will be conducted by the Joseph Bell
Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning from August 20 until August 23 2002.
The workshop will consist of
a series of invited lectures, contributed papers, posters and
informal discussions.

Michael Bromby. Patricia McKellar and John Zeleznikow met on Friday 22 February to
discuss the Workshop. Suggestions include: (a) we hold a dinner and opening day lunch

the hospitality suite, but no other meals; (b) we book ten rooms at the Holiday Inn
Express (near Glasgow Caledonian University). (c) We use a lecture hall for fifty in the
Health Building as our lecture theatre.s


Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship

olin Aitken was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for the academic
year 2002
3. He will thus not teach in that year.



The following has been proposed:

Workshop on Modeling Evidence and Intelligence

Glasgow Caledonian University

ust 20
23 2002

The first in a series of annual workshops devoted to constructing computer tools to
analyse, evaluate, present and interpret evidence
will be conducted by the Joseph Bell
Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning from August 20 unt
il August 23 2002.
The workshop will consist of a series of invited lectures, contributed papers, posters and
informal discussions.

Professor Peter Tillers of Cardozo Law School, New York will give four lectures on the
law of evidence and the process of f
act investigation. Professor David Schum of George
Mason University, Virginia will give four lectures on
evidence and inference.

If you wish to present a contributed paper or poster, or merely participate in the
workshop, please contact Dr. John Zelezniko

Michael Bromby. Patricia McKellar and John Zeleznikow met on Friday 22 February to
discuss the Workshop. Suggestions include: (a) we hold a dinner and opening day lunch
in the hospitality suite, but no other meals; (b) we book ten rooms at the Holiday
Express (near Glasgow Caledonian University). (c) We use a lecture hall for fifty in the
Health Building as our lecture theatre.



I have been heavily involved with attempting to develop collaboration between various
research groups and th
e centre. In July 2001, Dr. Uri Schild of the Department of
Computer Science, Bar Ilan University visited me to continue joint research on
discretionary legal decision support systems and sentencing information systems. Mr
Ewan Hawthorn, a lay magistrate

and LLB student at the University of Edinburgh joined
some of our discussions. I am visiting Dr. Schild at Bar Ilan University during the March

April break.

In August 2001, Professor Robert Meersman of the Free University of Brussels visited
the Centre

with Dr. Werner Ceusters of L and C Computing. The POIROT project was
conceived during our discussions. I visited Professor Meersman in Brussels in October
2001. I missed a meeting of the POIROT consortium in Rome September 12
14 since I
was stranded i
n New York at the time of the devestation of the World Trade Centre.

From September 7

16 2001 (I was initially leaving on September 11, but circumstances
prevented this) I held detailed discussions with Professors David Schum (George Mason
University, Fa
irfax Virginia) and Peter Tillers (Cardozo Law School, New York, New
York) on the nature of evidence and fact investigation. Professors Schum and Tillers will
visit us in the summer of 2002 and look forward to working with us on the
implementation of Mars
halPlan: at the moment the major research prototype on analysing

As mentioned above, Richard Leary and I have met on three separate occasions. On
Friday October 28 2001, I met with Professor Gloria Laycock, Head, Jill Dando Institute
of Crime Sc
ience, University College, University of London (ICS), to disscuss
collaboration between the two institutes. We discussed the POIROT project at length.
ICS focusses upon social policy, whereas we are more interested in scientific methods.
Since DCI Lear
y is interested in using information technology to analyse evidence, he is
very interested in working with us.

On November 1 2001, I visited the University of Durham Law School, and spoke with
Robin Widdison and Michael Aikenhead about Legal Decision Suppo
rt Systems. I had
hoped that Michael, who has recently completed his PHD would work with us. Indeed,
Michael was keen to do so. However, since then, he has taken up a job at SoftLaw in
London. SoftLaw is an Australian company that produces legal decisi
on support

At the suggestion of Professor John Huntley, Head, Division of Law, Glasgow
Caledonian University, I have held many discussions with him trying to support research
in his department. One of our proposals is a suggestion to use data min
ing techniques to
support adjudication in the construction industry. Together with Patricia Mackeller and
James Conolly we have held numerous discussions on the topic. On November 27 2001,
I (amongst others) addressed a group of Glasgow construction lawy
ers on this topic. With
John Hinks and Peter Kennedy (CABER project, Glasgow Caledonian University), James
Conolly, John Huntley and myself are preparing a project on the Development and
Testing of a Web
Based Electronic Dispute Resolution Tool for Constru
Adjudication. We will apply to the Open Partners in Innovation fund.

In October 2001, I met with Ellis Simpson a partner in Golds, a significant Glasgow legal
firm to discuss collaboration. I have held numerous discussions with Mr. Simpson, but
still do not have any concrete proposals.

On Wednesday 6

February 2002, Brian Ewart and Giles Oatley of the University of
Sunderland visited the Centre to discuss a project on burglary detection they are
completing for West Midlands Police. David Lucy,
Jeroen Keppens, John Kingston and
John Zeleznikow attended and were most impressed with their work. The Sunderland
team have asked Jeroen Keppens to be involved with their project. They hope to
collaborate with the centre on future projects.

Anthony Forde and John Zeleznikow agreed to investigate the development
of a method to differentiate between homicidal and suicidal death scenes. Dr. Forde of
Central Lancashire University visited the Centre on 13

February 2002. Dr. Forde and I
had int
eresting discussions on how to collaborate with police forces. He also suggested
joint projects and relevant literature on crime scene investigation. Dr. Forde and I were
then joined by Jeroen Keppens, David Lucy, Michael Bromby and Burkhard Schafer .
e had animated discussions on the ‘unlawful killings’ project and how to classify
suicides and homicides.

Collaboration with Dr. Lovegrove, Dr. Forde, Mr. Leary, Professor Cole, Dr. Lodder and
Dr. Governati is being investigated. We are holding discussi
ons with Richard Leary re
him being a consultant to the centre.

On Wednesday 20

March 2002, Dr. Brian Carr and James Toland of the University of
Paisley met with me to discuss the use of Case Based Reasoning in crime detection.

Franco Taroni visited the
centre from 4

to 8

March 2002, funded by Swiss National
Science Foundation). He had numerous discussions with Colin Aitken, with whom he is
writing a bool.

I visited Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel from March 23 to April 6 2002. I worked
Dr. Uri Schild on building computational models of discretion and also had
discussions with Professor Ron Shapira on AI and Evidence..

Immediately following my trip to Luxemburg on April 8 and 9 2002, I visited Boston
April 10
15 2002. I met with Peter Ti
llers (AI and evidence), Scott Brewer (AI and
evidence and expert witnesses), Diane Cabell (IT and the internet and Ethan Katsh
(dispute resolution).

Colin Aitken and David Lucy are collaborating with :

1) Terry Napier (West Yorkshire Police) on shoe pr

2) Nicola and Derek of Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory on the
topic of fibres and

3) Phil Rose of the Australian National University, Canberra, on speech recognition.

Colin Aitken will be visiting Franco Taroni (part
by Carnegie Trust of
Universities of Scotland) at the University of Lausanne in September 2002. Jean Hall and
Andrew Stranieri, both of La Trobe University, will be visiting the centre in the spring.
John Zeleznikow will be working with them on building l
egal decision support systems.


Conferences Attended


From May 21
24 2001, I attended the eighth International Conference on
Artificial Intelligence in Law at Washington University, St. Louis Missouri. I presented
two papers and gave an invited
tutorial on AI, Law and Electronic Commerce. Michael
Bromby and Burkhard Schafer also attended. Burkhard gave a paper at a workshop
conducted by Peter Tillers on AI and Evidence. The Centre put in a proposal to conduct
the ninth International Conference

on Artificial Intelligence in Law at the University.
The proposal was accepted by the IAAIL (International Association for Artificial
Intelligence and Law) executive. Giovanni Sartor (University of Bologna) was asked to
be Program Chair and I was asked
to be General Chair. The conference was very useful
in meeting old friends and colleagues, and forming new relationships, especially with
American legal entrepreneurs,


On May 25 and 26 2001, I attended the Third International Workshop on
al Decision Support Systems at Kent Law School, Chicago, illinois. I was one of
the organisers of the workshop and gave a paper title

Legal Aid and Unrepresented
Litigants: Building Legal Decision Support Systems for Victoria Legal Aid.
Bromby al
so attended and gave a paper. The conference was very useful in meeting US
and Canadian lawyers and legal academics interested in applying information technology
to law.


From July 2
4 2001, I attended the Fourth Conference of the Internationa
Society for Decision Support Systems at Brunel University in London, where I presented
three papers. Due to poor publicity, the conference was quite small. Nevertheless, it was
very useful to discuss current research with my peers.


On Tuesday 2

September 2001, I presented a paper entitled
Building Legal
Information Systems to support Arbitration and Negotiation

at the inaugural meeting of
CLIMB (Centre for Legal Information Management and Business at Glasgow Caledonian
University). Useful co
ntacts were made with Glasgow and Edinburgh area lawyers. On
Tuesday November 27 I gave a CLIMB sponsored talk with the same title to a group of
construction lawyers.


On Wednesday October 10 2001, I represented the Edinburgh Law School at a
ng about BAILII (British and Irish Legal Information Institute). I pointed out to the
meeting that our law school was very keen to be involved in the project and was most
disappointed at the lack of both consultation and progress.


Following suggest
ions of John Sibbald at our Advisory Board Meeting I have
been attending meetings of the Scottish Society for Computers and Law. One very
interesting presentation was given by Sergeant David Reid of Lothian and Borders Police
on cybercrime. On a related
matter I have written a
paper Research at the Joseph Bell
Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning

which should soon be appearing in E
Law Review. I will be giving an invited lecture at the Scottish Society for Computer
Law’s Conference on Dispu
te Resolution on Monday 29

April 2002. My paper is



From December 10
12 2001, I attended the twenty
first Conference of the
British Computer Society Specialist

Group on Expert Systems (ES2001) at Peterhouse
College Cambridge, where I presented a paper. Jeroen Keppens was also in attendance
and has submitted a detailed report. Important contacts have been made with Giles
Oatley and Brian Ewart (burglary researc
h) of the University of Sunderland and Brian
Carr (case
based reasoning in policing) of the University of Paisley.


On December 13 and 14

2001 I attended the Second International
Workshop on Legal Ontologies and the Fourteenth International Co
nference on Legal
Knowledge Based Systems at the University of Amsterdam. I gave a paper at the
ontologies workshop. Important discussions with Grigoris Antoniou (defeasible
reasoning), Guido Governati (defeasible reasoning), John Henderson (adjudication

in the
construction industry), Arno Lodder (on
line dispute resolution), Sien Moens
(information retrieval in law) and Radboud Winkels (on
line tutoring systems) were held.
All hope to visit the centre and give a seminar.

John Zeleznikow will be presenti
ng two papers at the



















Poznan, Poland, April 24

Michael Bromby, Patricia McKellar and Moira Macmillan

presented papers at BILETA
in Amsterdam, April 5

David Lucy will attend the Forensic Science Society Spring Meeting in Huntingdon.

Colin Aitken will be plenary and keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at ANZFSS
(Australia and New Zealand Forensic
Science Society) Symposium in Canberra,
Australia 13



Colin Aitken, David Lucy and John Zeleznikow are involved in International Conference
on Forensic Statistics (ICFS5) in Venice: 30



September 2002. : Colin is an
invited spe
aker and on the programme committee, David is giving a contibuted paper and
John an invited paper.

Colin Aitken and David Lucy will talk about the evaluation of evidence at the Lothian
and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory meeting in May 2002..



The following consultancies are under consideration


Operation Orcadian: David Lucy will probably visit Huntingdon


Gordon Crawford: project with Police Force in Glasgow on perinatal


A project is underway with the Greater Manche
ster Police on Chinese shoe sizes




A basic statistics course for Scottish Forensic Science Liaison Group has been
designed. The proposal is currently under consideration by SFSLG


An course to be delivered over the internet is to be discussed with
Ian Tebbett of
National Forensic Science Centre in Florida in mid


Reports of scientific management meetings

I was most disappointed that at its November meeting the Committee of Management
opposed my recommendation for the research fellows to hol
d regular research meetings.
I hope the committee of management reconsiders this decision. At the moment, Michael
Bromby and I meet weekly

generally on Tuesdays. I meet Jeroen Keppens
approximately weekly (generally on Wednesdays). I meet with David
Lucy on an as
needs basis. Burkhard Schafer, Zenon Bankowski and myself meet on an ad hoc basis,
primarily in the Law School staffroom. I believe regular meetings are a necessity

only to discuss research and management but for bonding purposes.


earch papers

Accepted papers in journals

Aitken, C, Taroni, F.
and Thompson, B. 2002 research on error rates in DNA analysis, to
appear in
Journal of Forensic Science

Bellucci, E. and Zeleznikow, J. 2001. Representations for decision making support in
Journal of Decision Support
. volume 10(3

Stranieri, A. and Zeleznikow, J. 2001 Copyright Regulation with Argumentation Agents
10(1): 109

Stranieri, A., Zeleznikow, J. and Yearwood, J. 2002 Ar
gumentation structures that
integrate dialectical and monoletical reasoning. To appear in
Knowledge Engineering

Zeleznikow, J. 2002. Using web
based legal decision support systems to improve access
to justice

Zeleznikow, J. 2002. Risk, Negotiation and Argumentation

a decision support system
based approach. To appear in
Law, Probability and Risk

Zeleznikow, J. and Nolan, J. 2001. Evaluation of Soft Computing Based Intelligent
sion Support Systems for Building Real World Applications.
Decision Support
31(2): 263

Accepted papers in refereed conference proceedings

Bellucci, E. and Zeleznikow, J. 2001 Family_Winner: A computerised negotiation
support system which advi
ses upon Australian Family Law

Proceedings of


Sixth International Conference on Decision Support Systems

Brunel University,

Hall, J. and Zeleznikow, J. 2001 Current inadequacies in the evaluation of legal
Based Systems. St
rategies towards a broad
based evaluation model
Proceedings of the

Eighth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law
St. Louis, Missouri: ACM Press: 147

Hall, M. J. J and Zeleznikow, J. 2002.
An Evaluation Framework for Legal Knowled
based Systems.



















Poznan, Poland, April 24

Stranieri, A., Yearwood, J. and Zeleznikow, J
2001 Tool
s for placing legal decision
support systems on the World Wide Web. Proceedings of the

Eighth International
Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law
, St. Louis, Missouri: ACM Press: 206

Stranieri, A. and Zeleznikow, J.
2001 WebShell: a knowledge

based shell for the world
wide web.

Proceedings of


Sixth International Conference on Decision
Support Systems

Brunel University, London:218

Stranieri, A. and Zeleznikow, J. WebShell: The development of web based expert
Research an
d Development in Expert Systems XVIII. Proceedings of ES2001

The Twenty
first SGES International Conference on Knowledge Based Systems and
Applied Artificial Intelligence,
Springer Verlag, London: 245

Zeleznikow, J. and Stranieri, A. The use of Legal

Decision Support Systems at Victoria
Legal Aid.

Proceedings of


Sixth International Conference on Decision
Support Systems

Brunel University, London:186

Zeleznikow, J. and Stranieri, A. 2002. A Framework for the Construction of Legal
on Support Systems



















Poznan, Poland,
April 24

Accepted papers in refereed workshop proceedings

nikow, J. and Stranieri, A. 2001. Knowledge discovery in discretionary legal
domains, Proceedings of the
UK Workshop on Computational Intelligence UKCI
University of Edinburgh, September 10
12: 156

Zeleznikow, J. and Stranieri, A. 2001. An Ontolo
gy for the Construction of Legal
Decision Support Systems
. Second International Workshop on Legal Ontologies
University of Amsterdam, December 13 2001.

Papers submitted to journals

Aitken, C. research on estimation of quantities in drugs cases
to Journal

of Forensic

Aitken, C., Taroni, F.
and Garbolino, P. research on graphical networks in cross
analysis to
Theoretical Population Biology

Lucy, D. and Aitken, C. research on excess deaths in hospitals to to

Law, Probability and


inistrative and other matters

Lesley Morrison has resigned as administrator of the Centre from April 19 2002


Meetings with ERI, Staff Development and SHEFC

Over the past few months I have had numerous meetings with Hamish MacAndrew,
Carolyn Brock, Sue Town
send and Brian Verth of Edinburgh Research and Innovation
on research matters. In particular they suggested we apply to the Leverhulme
Foundation, for Marie Curie grants and for European Union IST grants. This has
occurred. Also met with John Culver of
the Glasgow Caledonian Research Office.

I met with Allan Taylor of the Staff Development Office to discuss how to improve the
performance of staff at the centre. I have also attended Staff Development courses on
how to apply for research grants, how to fi
nancially manage your research grant and
project management. I also attended a session on commercialising your research
conducted by the Scottish Executive.

On Wednesday 23 January 2002, Colin Aitken and myself attended an all day workshop
run by SHEFC on

the topic of sustaining Research Development Grants. The focus was
upon how to advise and support centres so that they can remain operational once funding
from SHEFC has been concluded. Many of the ideas in both this and future reports arose
as a result

of the workshop. In particular we were told:



Annual Report and Newsletter

In line with opinions expressed at the SHEFC meeting, we have (and need to intensify)
been actively promoting the centre. Ideas (for which w
e Advisory Board involvement)


Making connections by speaking to and with targetted groups: academics (computer
science, forensics, law and statistics); forensic scientists, lawyers and legal
organisations, police, public prosecutors


Publishing new

these should be printed and glossy rather than photocopied.
They could come out twice a year

just before Advisory Board meetings. We should
include future events, past activities, a pithy summary of research undertaken and
maybe some short b


Annual Report

SHEFC require a two page annual report which is attached. We
could put out a glossy factual annual report

however it might be tedious and hence
few people would read it.


Management and Research Meetings

The Committee of Manag
ement meet eight times a year (January, February, April, May,
June, September, October, November). Members are the director, the six principal
investigators (Colin Aitken

chair, Zenon Bankowski

Deputy Chair, John Kingston,
Patricia, McKellar, Moira Ma
cMillan and Burkhard Schafer) and a representative of the
Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory. The Committee of
Management sets policy and overviews administration. Dr. Aitken and Dr. Zeleznikow
meet on a weekly basis.

Dr. Zeleznikow a
nd the research fellows (Michael Bromby, Jeroen Keppens, David
Lucy) meet frequently, but not regularly. The majority on the Committee of
Management felt that due to the distributed nature of the centre it would be onerous on
the researchers to meet on fi
xed dates. Researchers meet at seminars and collaboration
meetings. Dr. Zeleznikow regularly visits the Glasgow Caledonian University Division
of Public Law. Since AIAI is across the road from the Edinburgh Law School, he
regularly sees Jeroen Keppens.


Description of the Work of the Centre

The Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning has been set up to
analyse, evaluate, present and interpret evidence. The Centre draws on skills in statistics,
law and artificial intelligence fr
om the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian
University and the Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory. The Centre
employs a director, three research fellows and an administrative assistant. In addition,
the six principal investigat
ors from four different departments with collaboration from the
Director of the Lothian and Borders Police Forensic Science Laboratory conduct research
at the Centre.

The Centre is developing software for the mathematically sound and legally permissible
terpretation of scientific evidence, and the communication and representation of this to
lawyers and juries at the trial stage. There are interactions between different agencies

many police forces, forensic science laboratories, procurators fiscal, judge
s, advocates
and juries. The work of the Centre uses empirical evidence and case studies as an
important element in the development of its software.

The main areas of research for JBC are:

the definition and description of legal procedures for building a
case based on

the identification and application of mathematically acceptable techniques for
interpreting and drawing conclusions from forensic evidence;

the determination of the validity of conclusions drawn from analogous data or
from a parti
cular data sample;

the investigation of the possibility of a common source for several samples of
forensic significance;

the identification and analysis of risk factors as part of the European anti

the representation and implementation

of all the above on a computer in an
accessible format;

the development of legal decision support systems

The construction of such computer systems is a daunting task. Our initial approach has
been to build small
scale knowledge
based systems in specific

domains. Projects
currently being undertaken by our researchers include:


the value of trace evidence in linking a scene to a suspect, or a scene to a scene;


the assessment of cross
transfer evidence;


protocols for determination of sample size in criminal



the reliability of eyewitness testimony;


the examination of trends in European financial fraud;


the role of statistical evidence in cases of suspected excess deaths in a medical


the role of statistical evidence in cases of suspe
cted credit card fraud; and


the distinction between homicide, suicide and lawful deaths

The research fellows will describe their work in detail.