The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation has resolved so far several cases with technical or scientific complexity in areas such as environmental protection; medicine and psychology; telecommunications; genetically modified organisms; anthropology or forensic sciences, and it is expected that it will hear a greater number of cases. Judicial decisions must be fully justified in those cases which are technically complex and that also involve weighing and eventual intervention in the exercise of human rights. On many occasions, these decisions will have to ensure that sentences are supported by robust scientific or expert knowledge and define clear standards to assess scientific evidence in constitutional justice.
Beyond the common problems that judges face when they must decide on the admission and probative value of the scientific evidence that is generally presented through expert evidence, other types of important questions arise in constitutional justice that must be explored in depth, for instance:
- How can constitutional judges get expert or scientific knowledge?
- In this context, how can one discern which is the most appropriate scientific or expert knowledge to solve each case?
- Which reliability criteria can be used in constitutional courts to validate the scientific evidence supporting the sentences?
- Should and could the rules of constitutional judgment be rethought to facilitate the correct evaluation of scientific evidence?
The Center's research agenda explores these questions, trying to find solid, innovative and accurate answers to face some of the main problems related to scientific evidence in constitutional justice.