Handling uncertainty in a court of law

Muller, M. A. (2012)

CITATION: Muller, M. A. 2012. Handling uncertainty in a court of law. Stellenbosch Law Review, 23(3):599-609.

The original publication is available at http://reference.sabinet.co.za/document/EJC137008


The ability to analyse uncertainty does not reside within most people's experience. Certain fallacies frequently appear. An important example is the so-called prosecutor's fallacy. It is a specific error of logic commonly made when arguments involving probabilities are considered. Since these errors keep happening and people tend to avoid reasoning in terms of probability theory, courts do not always come to the best possible conclusion in matters involving uncertainty. In this paper we discuss different aspects of faulty reasoning concerning uncertainty in legal matters.

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