Adaptation and the Courtroom: Judging Climate Science
Kirsten H. Engel
University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law
Jonathan T. Overpeck
University of Arizona - Department of Geosciences
April 16, 2013
Adaptation to Climate Change, 2013, Forthcoming
Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law, 2013, Forthcoming
Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 12-38
Climate science is becoming increasingly important in litigation and in agency proceedings. With the growing policy emphasis upon adaptation to climate change, the potential for disputes in which climate science will be relevant will only multiply. Judges play a critical role in evaluating scientific evidence, from decisions regarding whether the evidence is admissible in a trial to the weight that it should be accorded in determining particular facts. Judges, however, are not apt to be familiar with the basic methods of climate science and, in particular, how to evaluate the reliability and relevance of climate studies and expert testimony. This chapter is an effort to fill this gap. In doing so, we hope to help judges exercise their responsibility to ensure that litigation outcomes are informed by quality climate science and, at the same time, ensure that quality climate science receives due consideration in the courtroom.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: climate change, scientific evidence, admissibility, adaptation, Daubert
JEL Classification: K32, K4, K41Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 6, 2012 ; Last revised: April 18, 2013
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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