Should Judges Do Independent Research on Scientific Issues?
Cheng, Edward K.
Judges are deeply divided about the issue of independent research, which goes to the heart of their roles and responsibilities in the legal system. To many judges, doing independent research when confronted with new and unfamiliar material seems the most responsible and natural thing to do. To others, it represents the worst kind of overreaching and a threat to long-cherished adversarial values. But whether one supports the practice or not, one thing is clear. The issue of independent research deserves far greater attention than it has so far from jurists, academics, and practitioners alike.