THE BEARING OF SCIENTIFIC DATA ON LEGAL REASONING
Keywords:Scientific data, Legal reasoning, International agreements, Courts, Jurisprudence
Legal reasoning and its associated dialectical features generally provide the dimensions and contours for the jurisprudence that govern international, municipal as well as verdicts reached by the courts. Policy makers, international organisations together with the legal systems of various countries take a number of decisions on both the drafting and the conclusion of agreements based on multiple factors. One of these important factors to be taken into consideration is the impact of these agreements, conventions and decisions on humanity in general. Will it affect the security of mankind, will it have effect on the ecosystem-both flora and fauna, biodiversity, climate change and a host of others. With modern advancements in science and technology, scientific assessments have also become one of the biggest considerations on agreements as well as verdicts reached by courts. Studies abounds that reinforce the evidence that “scientific data has a huge bearing on legal reasoning.” The first section of the paper looks at the parameters between the law and science. The next examines the theoretical conceptions of the scientific process followed by the explanation of key concepts. Philosophical analysis of the concept of reasoning together with its foundational principles are also discussed. Finally, the paper highlights the synergy between scientific data and legal reasoning. The socio-legal methodology is used to undertake a contextual analysis of some international agreements and their implications, as well as the jurisprudence reached by some courts with the aid of scientific knowledge. Conclusion is then drawn based on the discussion.