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LAW 1065: Scientific and Statistical Evidence
Spring 2023 • Section To Be Determined • CRN 51220

Course Description

This course will explore the ways in which scientific and statistical evidence is used andevaluated in civil and criminal legal proceedings today. We will introduce the principles and regimes governing the admissibility of evidence of a scientific or technical nature and discuss the underlying policy choices. We will discuss cultural and social contexts in which forensic disciplines have been developed and used in court; interactions between legal and scientific cultures that arise in this context; the roles played by experts, juries, and judges; as well as scientific, judicial, and lay perceptions of scientific material presented in court. Examining in more detail a number of forensic techniques that have come under recent scrutiny will allow us to delve deeper into some of the central questions in scientific evidence today, what makes scientific evidence reliable or unreliable? What is the line between junk science and admissible evidence? How might experts and data be biased, and how might courts and litigants detect and correct
for those biases and engage in a broader debate about the role of science in adjudication? Finally, we will assess proposals to reform or radically overhaul the manner in which scientific and statistical evidence is used in courts today, drawing on
both domestic proposals and foreign approaches.


Day/Time Location
Th 10:00-11:50 AM Klein 7B

Course Details

  • Edith Beerdsen
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Writing
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement
  • Writing Serial


Registration Info

Registration Notes

Prerequisite: Students must have taken Evidence, either as a stand-alone course or as part of the Integrated Trial Advocacy Program.

Book List/Materials