Judges' Independent Research on Scientific Matters

Article excerpt

Judges' Independent Research on Scientific Matters. Five articles, Judicature 90 (2006): 58-71.

This set of five short articles deals with aspects of judges' conducting independent research on scientific and technical matters, something which occurred largely as a result of the Daubert ruling (discussed elsewhere in this issue of Justice System Journal). The set of articles begins with Edward Cheng's report of a survey of a nonrandom group of state appellate judges, who attended a law and science conference ("Should Judges Do Independent Research on Scientific Issues?" pp. 58-61). Those judges were divided as to use of various methods of individual research. The fourth article in the set, by New York appellate judge George D. Marlow ("Independent Research on Scientific Issues by Judges Must Be Carefully Weighed and Considered," pp. 66-67), comments on the Cheng article and suggests that such independent research raises an issue of judicial ethics.

Arguments /or and arguments against such independent research are presented by two opposing judges of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. …