Legal Philosophy as Philosophy

Yet another deliciously entertaining paper from Susan freely accessible here.

Some of you may think that this shows that the civil-law custom of court-appointed experts has a distinct advantage over the common-law practice. And in some ways, no doubt, it does. But I’m not convinced it is better overall, and not just because the U.S. experience with court-appointed experts hasn’t been exactly a roaring success. The problem, as I see it, is that judges may not always choose experts wisely, and may become too accustomed to working with, and relying on, “their” DNA guy, or “their” epidemiology guy, etc., to maintain a critical distance when they need to.

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An example that comes immediately to my mind is a paper (on which, heaven help me, I had to serve as commentator) by Ronald Allen and Brian Leiter.