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1 V erona – Milano

2 SCIENCE AND THE LAW Avv. Luciano Butti - B&P Avvocati Professore a contratto di diritto internazionale dell’ambiente Università di Padova Facoltà di Ingegneria – Corso di laurea in Ingegneria ambientale

3 SCIENTIFIC AWARENESS AS A DECISIVE SKILL FOR THE MODERN JURIST Legal knowledge and various skills Examples of skills needed in various sectors The law of risk Scientific method, and the limits of science

4 ADMISSION OF SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AT COURT: "PEER REVIEW“ When science is used in the process Some examples (L'Aquila earthquake judgment; cases of SIDS - Sudden Infant Death - UK; medical liability) The role of the lawyer during the expertise or technical advice

5 ADMISSION OF SCIENTIFIC PROOF IN THE PROCESS: STRENGTHS AND DEFECTS IN THE MECHANISM OF "PEER REVIEW" AS A SOURCE OF SCIENCE SELECTION The peer review as a mechanism for validation of science Importance and weaknesses of peer review The Judge as Gatekeeper (Daubert ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court) The "translation" of the Italian judgment Daubert: Cass., Sec. Criminal IV, 13 December 2010, n. 43786

6 CHANCE AND NECESSITY Chance and necessity among the Greek philosophers and modern biologists (MONOD: “The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe's unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below; it is for him to choose”) Determinism and free will of nature: when Agamemnon "wanted with fury" the sacrifice imposed by the "collar of necessity" Law and Neuroscience

7 THE LAWYER IN THE KINGDOM OF NUMBERS The reductionist approach in the field of causality and its limits Striking similarities between the theory of causality related to statistical laws and quantum physics "Intentional" Approach and "bias" for confirmation. Reluctance of judges to accept the existence of the "fortuitous event"

8 THE LAWYER IN THE KINGDOM OF NUMBERS Law and statistics: when it is (and when it is not) possible to calculate the probability of an event The cd. "Sniper-effect" in epidemiology Correlation and cause-effect relationship, a difference that should not be underestimated The Reverend Thomas Bayes and the theory of "conditional probability": when the miscarriage of justice is at the gate behind a miscalculation

9 THE TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS AS A FACTOR OF "NEW DISPROPORTION " OF SOME “ABSOLUTE RIGHTS “ The precautionary principle The cost-benefit analysis The progress of science and technology and the consequences on the design and implementation of so- called. "Absolute rights". Examples.

10 A CASE STUDY: THE PROCESS TO SCIENTISTS FOR THE EARTHQUAKE OF L'AQUILA The earthquake of 2009 The court case Critical reading of the judgment of first instance

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