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Estudios Socio-Jurídicos

Print version ISSN 0124-0579


BAILO, Gonzalo Luciano  and  LEVRAND, Norma Elizabeth. Controversial Cases: A Study of Relations between Science and Law in Courts. Estud. Socio-Juríd [online]. 2018, vol.20, n.1, pp.45-74. ISSN 0124-0579.

There has been an increase in the use of scientific evidence and expert participation in several court cases, by multiple articulations between the practices and imaginaries from legal and techno-scientific systems. In these cases, a group of 'controversial cases' can be distinguished, which problematize the authority of judges and experts, and renegotiate the meanings of traditional concepts such as 'judicial neutrality' and 'expert impartiality and independence'. In order to contribute characterizing such controversial cases, in this paper it is proposed an analysis matrix designed with concepts from Social Science and Technology Studies (STS) and legal studies. This matrix is built from three dimensions: formal/structural, material/ functional and institutional/decisional. These complementary dimensions offer a perspective that allows characterize controversial cases and difference them from other types of complex cases. As example, it is included some environmental cases selected from Argentinian courts.

Keywords : Controversial cases; scientific evidence; social studies of science and technology; environmental cases.

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