Law and Science, Volume 1
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Law - 307 pages
This is the first volume of an exciting new series, Current Legal Issues, which will be published each spring as a sister volume to Current Legal Problems. The basis for each interdisciplinary volume will be a two-day colloquium held each year by the Faculty of Laws at University CollegeLondon. This first volume explores the interrelationship of law and science. Future volumes will examine themes such as law and literature, law and medicine, law and religion, etc. This book, the first volume of Current Legal Issues, explores the relationship of law and science, with a particular focus on the role of science as evidence. Scientific evidence impinges on a wide range of legal issues, including, for example, risk assessment in mental health and child abuse,criminal investigations, chemical and medical products, mass tort cases and the attribution of paternity. Science promises to reduce (or even eliminate) uncertainty; how should lawyers respond to such ambitious claims? As the civil justice process undergoes a major overhaul, this diverse andstimulating collection of essays provides a timely and thought-provoking reassessment of the relationship between law and science in general and the uses and value of scientific evidence in particular. From the Editors' Introduction This volume addresses the intersection between law and science, two monolithic institutions which generally compete for, but sometimes coincide in presenting, an authoritative analysis of the world. The contributors to this volume take different views as to who is the victor in this contestScience deals in objective reality; therefore it is for scientists to reveal as much as they can about reality, and for the law to determine what should be made of the discoveries. Perhaps this division of labour is too simplistic, but if it is taken as a model, it is apparent that law and scienceare bound together and that mutual understanding is essential. If this volume contributes to that understanding then it will have performed an invaluable service.
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