Truth and Justice, Inquiry and Advocacy, Science and Law
12 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 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 finality 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.
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