Overview Edit

The Daubert method (also called Daubert challenge) is based upon the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. [1] It is a set of standards that serve as a guide when dealing with evidence in a court of law. It proposes several reliability factors, which should be kept in mind when applying and reporting on a scientific technique that is being used in a forensic examination:

  • Testability — Has the scientific theory or technique been empirically tested?
  • Acceptance — Has the scientific theory or technique been subjected to peer review and publication? This ensures that flaws in the methodology would have been detected and that the technique is finding its way into use via the literature.
  • Error Rate — What is the known or potential error rate? Scientific measures generally have associated error rates, which can be estimated with a fair amount of precision. Known threats exist against the validity and reliability in any test (experimental and quasi-experimental) of a theory.
  • Credibility — What is the expert's qualifications and stature in the scientific community? Does the technique rely upon the special skills and equipment of one expert, or can it be replicated by other experts elsewhere?
  • Clarity — Can the technique and its results be explained with sufficient clarity and simplicity so that the court and the jury can understand its plain meaning? This criterion is implicitly assumed to be incorporated in Daubert.

The procedures used to acquire evidence affect its admissibility.

References Edit

  1. 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (full-text).

See also Edit

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