Browsing by Subject "law and science"

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  • Taipale, Jaakko; Hautamäki, Lotta (2021)
    This article examines clinical practice guidelines (CPG) in the courtroom. The guidelines in question are Finnish national current care guidelines for brain injuries, and the case context is traffic insurance compensation cases contested in the Helsinki district court. We analyse 11 case verdicts qualitatively, drawing from earlier socio-logical and theoretical accounts of clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based medicine. What makes the case-type relevant for studying clinical practice guidelines is the fact that the cases, which feature a medical dispute concerning traumatic brain injury, involve highly specialized expertise and contradictory expert claims, but the cases are decided in a generalist court by non-expert judges. What we show in the article is how the guidelines structure, sequence and initiate temporal reworking in the judges’ representation of medical evidence and testimony, and how the plaintiffs’ delayed diagnoses complicate the application of the CPG in the evaluation. We further discuss the guidelines’ epistemic authority in the verdicts and finish by comparing the 2008 and 2017 editions of Finnish CPGs for brain injuries, suggesting a multifaceted, courtroom-mediated feedback loop be-tween the patient-plaintiffs and the clinical practice guidelines.
  • Cosens, Barbara; Ruhl, J. B.; Soininen, Niko; Gunderson, Lance; Belinskij, Antti; Blenckner, Thorsten; Camacho, Alejandro E.; Chaffin, Brian C.; Craig, Robin Kundis; Doremus, Holly; Glicksman, Robert; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Larson, Rhett; Similä, Jukka (National Academy of Sciences, 2021)
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2021, 118 (36) e2102798118
    The speed and uncertainty of environmental change in the Anthropocene challenge the capacity of coevolving social–ecological–technological systems (SETs) to adapt or transform to these changes. Formal government and legal structures further constrain the adaptive capacity of our SETs. However, new, self-organized forms of adaptive governance are emerging at multiple scales in natural resource-based SETs. Adaptive governance involves the private and public sectors as well as formal and informal institutions, self-organized to fill governance gaps in the traditional roles of states. While new governance forms are emerging, they are not yet doing so rapidly enough to match the pace of environmental change. Furthermore, they do not yet possess the legitimacy or capacity needed to address disparities between the winners and losers from change. These emergent forms of adaptive governance appear to be particularly effective in managing complexity. We explore governance and SETs as coevolving complex systems, focusing on legal systems to understand the potential pathways and obstacles to equitable adaptation. We explore how governments may facilitate the emergence of adaptive governance and promote legitimacy in both the process of governance despite the involvement of nonstate actors, and its adherence to democratic values of equity and justice. To manage the contextual nature of the results of change in complex systems, we propose the establishment of long-term study initiatives for the coproduction of knowledge, to accelerate learning and synergize interactions between science and governance and to foster public science and epistemic communities dedicated to navigating transitions to more just, sustainable, and resilient futures.
  • Taipale, Jaakko (2019)
    This article investigates how civil court judges practice meta-expertise in cases that feature contradictory and inconclusive medical expertise. The empirical case study consists of a sample of eleven Helsinki district court verdicts from 2014–2017, drawn from a larger number of similar traffic insurance compensation cases. The case-type features a medical controversy concerning traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnostics. I contend that the difficulties judges face in evaluating the medical expertise result from epistemic asymmetries between legal and medical professionals. This study highlights the importance of explaining and understanding how judges overcome uncertainty and discriminate between expert positions. Drawing from earlier studies on meta-expertise and judges’ practice of evaluating expertise in court, I introduce the concept ‘socio-technical review’ to describe judges’ practice of facilitating highly technical and esoteric scientific expertise to needs of judicial decision making. I argue that socio-technical review is a special form of practicing meta-expertise, which effectively allows meta-experts to manage epistemic asymmetries. In examining how meta-expertise is practiced in the TBI case-type, the paper contributes to general sociological understanding of decision-making under uncertainty and suggests further studies in comparable settings.
  • Taipale, Jaakko (2019)
    This study examines two different approaches in empirical analysis of judges' evaluation of expertise in court: first, an analyst-based approach that employs predefined normative criteria to measure judges' performance, and second, an actor-based approach that emphasizes interpretative flexibility in judges' evaluation practice. I demonstrate how these different approaches to investigating judges' adjudication lead to differing understandings about judges' abilities to evaluate scientific evidence and testimonial. Although the choice of analytical approach might depend on context and purpose in general, I contend that in assessing judges' competence, an actor-based approach that adequately describes the way in which judges relate to and handle expertise is required to properly understand and explain how judges evaluate expertise. The choice of approach is especially important if the resulting understanding of judges' competence is subsequently used as a basis for making normative and prescriptive claims with potential consequences for trial outcomes.