Science Bench Book for Judges

The National Judicial College (NJC) and the Justice Speakers Institute, LLC (JSI) are pleased to announce the release of a new online publication, Science Bench Book for Judges, funded by the State Justice Institute (SJI).

What is your role as a gatekeeper?

Science Bench Book

Judges are the guardians of our system of justice, but forensic developments in the last 50 years have made their jobs significantly harder. The existing rules of evidence and procedure have not always anticipated new scientific discoveries. As evidentiary gatekeepers, judges must be able to anticipate and prepare to rule on admission of new areas of scientific evidence. In addition, some previously admitted types of evidence have now been discredited by the scientific community.

However, judges do not need to become scientists in order to make appropriate evidentiary decisions about scientific evidence. Rather, they need to have a detailed understanding of their role in admitting scientific evidence. To achieve this, NJC and the Justice Speakers Institute, LLC are pleased to present a new online resource, Science Bench Book for Judges, to assist judges in making their rulings.

Download the Bench Book
It has become ever more apparent that judges must have some understanding of science. This book is a helpful and necessary effort to provide judges with knowledge and techniques that will help them work with scientific subject matter.

Justice Stephen Breyer,

U.S. Supreme Court

This publication was developed under grant number SJI-18-T-040 from the State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.