Improving the Role of Science in Law
Despite the many times that the law has stumbled in its interactions with science, there are examples where the law has gotten it right. This chapter describes some of these examples, using them to help craft a more effective role for science in law. In particular, the chapter looks at examples from laws related to the civil commitment of children and to paternity. It also suggests four approaches to help avoid the repeated pattern of failure: operating within law's parameters, using science for testing and transformation, protecting the structure of the dialogue, and embracing imperfection. In particular, this chapter describes how current problems in the Federal Circuit were structurally predictable, argues against specialized tribunals, and recommends the implementation of Plain Language Patents. This chapter also applies the logic suggested to the problem of pay-for-delay settlements between pharmaceutical companies and generic drug companies under the Hatch-Waxman Act.
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