Saturday, 13 October 2007

Judiciary can judge scientific facts

A couple weeks ago I posted

If suddenly the legislature decided to legislate on scientific facts no one would use them to analyse what the actual law is, because those facts existed long prior to law.

It seems the judiciary has taken on the mantel of 'legislating' scientific facts. Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth has some scientific errors in it and does not reflect the scientific consensus. I'm not sure why Justice Barton's LLB qualifies him to be a judge on scientific facts, as I'm sure no climate scientist would argue their PhD entitles them to make declarations of law (even though the climate scientist is far better educated). But nonetheless, this is how the decision turned out. If I had a kid in school I'd want to bring a complaint that free market economics taught at A-Level has no basis on empirical facts and is rather an ideological sword to stab the third world with. A judge could actually decide on that, because economics is no where near as complicated as climate science. But I'm sure this will never happen.

The decision is a surprise to me because in medical tort cases the test for breach of duty relies heavily on expert testimony, not judges reading medical journals which they cant possibly comprehend.

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