Essay On Evidence Law

Essay On Evidence Law-84
Judges and juries, lacking the scientific knowledge of experts, both face difficult challenges in understanding and applying expert scientific testimony.Not surprisingly, they occasionally get the science they are supposed to evaluate wrong, and what the legal system has accepted as sound science has not always withstood the test of time.

Judges and juries, lacking the scientific knowledge of experts, both face difficult challenges in understanding and applying expert scientific testimony.Not surprisingly, they occasionally get the science they are supposed to evaluate wrong, and what the legal system has accepted as sound science has not always withstood the test of time.

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Often in modern litigation, the law must be informed by scientific evidence as communicated by the views of the scientists who present it.

These are typically experts chosen and paid by parties because, regardless of the law’s needs, scientists, with rare exceptions, cannot be forced to contribute what they know.

Trienens Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation.

She is the author of the xperts bedeviled the legal system long before seventeenth-century Salem, when the town’s good citizens relied on youthful accusers and witchcraft experts to identify the devil’s servants in their midst.

In their introduction to the issue, Shari Seidman Diamond and Richard O.

Lempert discuss the tensions and areas of overlapping interest at the interface of science and the legal system.As in Salem, claims of expertise have often been questioned and objections raised about the bases of expert knowledge.Expertise, then and now, did not have to be based on science; but the importance of science and the testimony of scientific experts has since medieval times been woven into the fabric of the English jurisprudence that Americans inherited.Medical testimony is still the most common form of scientific expertise presented in court, but expert advice on legal matters has expanded exponentially, reflecting the enormous range of scientific knowledge that modern scholarship has produced.Although recognizing the need for scientific assistance, judges soon learned that sources claiming scientific expertise did not always agree.Science is in principle always open to revision as additional evidence accumulates.The law can be slow to change and its treatment of science may be determined by precedent, even when a scientific consensus recognizes that the science that supported the precedent is no longer regarded as sound.Previewing the essays that follow–many of which were written by scientist-lawyer teams, or authors who are themselves both scientists and legal scholars–Diamond and Lempert divide the issue into three sections: “Connecting Science and Law”; “Accommodation or Collision: When Science and Law Meet”; and “Communicating Science in Court.” Through the insights offered and solutions suggested throughout the issue, Diamond and Lempert remain optimistic about future collaboration between science and law.Shari Seidman Diamond, a Fellow of the American Academy since 2012, is the Howard J.This is no accident; in selecting authors we tried wherever possible to match across disciplines to highlight and bridge potential gaps in perspectives.In some cases, we selected single authors who themselves are both scientists and legal scholars.

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