Forensic Risk Assessment Based on Algorithms: A Critique of FOTRES As an Allustration

42 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Simon Vuille

Simon Vuille

University of Lausanne, School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne), Students

Date Written: May 27, 2019

Abstract

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

Vuille, Simon, Forensic Risk Assessment Based on Algorithms: A Critique of FOTRES As an Allustration (May 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3451734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3451734

Simon Vuille (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne, School of Economics and Business Administration (HEC-Lausanne), Students ( email )

France

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