Standards for Social Science Amicus Briefs in Family and Child Law Cases
Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, Vol. 13, pp. 81-103, 2009
23 Pages Posted: 27 May 2011
Date Written: February 26, 2009
Social scientists often submit amicus briefs as scientific information to courts considering legal issues related to families and children. This article argues that there is a pressing need for standards when these briefs purport to be comprehensive and unbiased summaries of the relevant scientific literature, and the authors of the briefs present themselves as members of the scientific community possessing specialized knowledge. The article proposes and explains the rationale for nine standards for assessing these briefs. Further it recommends that social scientists, their professional organizations, and judges employ these standards.
Keywords: social science, amicus briefs, Daubert, child, family
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