Forensic Risk Assessment Based on Algorithms: A Critique of FOTRES As an Allustration
42 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019
Date Written: May 27, 2019
The Swiss federal Court has laid out its requirements for forensic-psychiatric expert reports in a 2015 decision. Critically, the Court requires such reports to be both transparent and traceable (nachvollziehbar). While the court explicitly grounds these criteria in the necessity for judges to make an independent assessment of the expert report and come to their own conclusions as regards dangerousness, we contend that the Court’s reasoning must also be understood in the context of the rights of the defense.
This contribution critiques the FOTRES system, a structured professional judgement instrument computerized and relying on a proprietary algorithm and shows that it does not contribute to the objectives of transparency and traceability, nor that it complies with the requirements set by the federal Court.
Keywords: FOTRES, forensic, psychiatry, expert report, defense rights, algorithm, dangerousness, structured professional judgement
JEL Classification: K14,K40,K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation