Virtually all courts and commentators agree that some line must be drawn between the judge's responsibility to evaluate the admissibility of expert testimony and the jury's role to assess its weight. It would be radical, indeed, to suggest that the parties decide what evidence to bring to the jury. Thus, astrology, tea leaf reading and alchemy are considered obviously unfit for jury consideration. The issue, then, is relatively easy to define. What principle should determine when expert proof can be admitted and when it must be turned away? In Daubert, the United States Supreme Court articulated a validity test, which premises admissibility of expert opinion on the merit of the principles, methods and reasoning behind it. In England, Lord Woolf's reforms accomplish similar results by premising the admission of expert evidence on its power to educate the court, rather than its capacity to serve a party's interests. Both the Daubert standard and Lord Woolf's reforms premise the utility of expert evidence on its evidentiary reliability.

In effect, a test of evidentiary reliability is nothing more—or less—than utilization of the scientific method itself. Thomas Huxley said that science is nothing more than 'organized common sense'. Scientific common sense has come to the law. This fact, of course, hardly settles the many difficult debates over the admissibility of the wide assortment of experts and expertises courts see every day. Indeed, it has unsettled matters considerably. But this is a very good thing. The law's embrace of the scientific method, and its adoption in principle of the basic premises of the scientific revolution, were largely inevitable. In fact, it came very late in the day. Now the questions confronting courts are much more interesting, though admittedly of enormous complexity. Courts must now get down to the business of examining the many experts and the myriad of types of expertise before them. In time, they should find this task to be increasingly less daunting and more and more invigorating. They should also find that this task results in a more efficient and more just legal system.

The Art Of Astrology

The Art Of Astrology

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