Litigating Racial Profiling: The Use of Statistical Data

Tamar Hopkins  
PhD candidate, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia


The use of statistical data to prove racial discrimination by police in individual cases is relatively novel in Australia.  Based on a survey of international strategies, this article argues that statistical and social science data can play three critical evidential roles in litigation. Firstly, it can form part of the social context evidence used to influence the inferences that can be drawn from other evidence led in a case.  Secondly it can influence the cogency of the evidence required for claimants to meet the standard of proof, and thirdly, it can be used to shift the burden of proof.  Using these evidential methods, evidence of institutional racism can be used to assist in making findings of discrimination in individual cases. This article speculates on the role that statistics could have played in the Haile-Michael race discrimination claim that settled in 2013, and in the 2019 inquest into the death of Tanya Day.


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How to Cite
Hopkins T. Litigating Racial Profiling: The Use of Statistical Data. LiC [Internet]. 2021Sep.3 [cited 2021Sep.26];37(2). Available from:

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