Swim board member Daniela Ovadia will debate today about the use in courts of scientific evidence from neurosciences, starting from the recent case of a murderer sentenced in Como that she described extensively on her blog on Le Scienze/Scientific American:
The Italian Court of Como recently issued an interesting ruling in a homicide case. The ruling attracted national and international attention, because both brain imaging and genetic testing were admitted in Court as evidence of the defendant’s lack of competency. There are very few cases in the world in which this type of evidence was ruled admissible. In Italy, there are two precedents, both cases of murder. The speakers will discuss the Como case extensively and the two earlier cases in brief, and focus on a crucial question that emerged from the trials: the problem of ‘objectivity’ in competency assessments and the role of neuroscientific data in the assessment. The first speaker is Amedeo Santosuosso, Judge at the Court of Appeals of Milan and Professor of Law, Science and New Technologies at the University of Pavia. His talk will be followed by talks by Giuseppe Sartori, Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Padua, and Pietro Pietrini, Professor of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Pisa. Sartori and Pietrini are the authors of the competency expert reports in the Como case and in the two earlier Italian cases. Finally, two science communicators, Daniela Ovadia, who is also a researcher in Neuropsychology, and Emiliano Feresin, scientific collaborator at TA-SWISS, will discuss the way the Como case was portrayed in the media and a number of problems related to social neuroscience and law and neuroscience.
The workshop will take place Wednesday 07 December 2011 from 15:00 to 18:00
at the Department of Law of the European University Institute in Florence
Sala Europa, Villa Schifanoia
The seminar is open to non-EUI members and attendance is free