Truth and Justice, Inquiry and Advocacy, Science and Law
12 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2012
Date Written: March 1, 2004
There is tension between the adversarialism of the U.S. legal culture and the investigative procedures of the sciences, and between the law's concern for finalilty and the open-ended fallibilism of science. A long history of attempts to domesticate scientific testimony by legal rules of admissibility has left federal judges with broad screening responsibilities; recent adaptations of adversarialism in the form of court-appointed experts have been criticized as "inquisitorial," even "undemocratic." In exploring their benefits and disadvantages, it would make sense to look to the experience of other legal systems.
Keywords: inquiry vs. advocacy, scientific testimony, methods of scienc, fallibilism vs. finality, Frye, Daubert, Karl R. Popper, Judge Learned Hand
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