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The links below are to a series of posts I recently put up at Prawfsblawg about the need for more rigorous systematic reviews in the social sciences and how to incorporate them into the legal system.

An outline of the entire argument

I. The Need for Systematic Reviews

• Recent changes in how empirical work is done
The problems with the structure of empirical social sciences
• A bad philosophy of science
• The flaws with hypothesis testing
• A summary of the need for, and challenges faced by, evidence based practices in the social sciences
Measuring methodological quality of empirical studies
• How do we define quality?
• How do we measure a particular definition of quality?
II. Incorporating Systematic Reviews Into the Law
• The law’s and the sciences’ different views on knowledge
• The problems of epistemic competence in the law
Reconciling systematic reviews with the goals of adversarialism
• Overview
• Truth discovery and non-arbitrariness
• Conflict resolution and party control
• Who gets to decide on how the reviews are written
Historical trends in the nature of adversarial procedures
• The sciencization of the law
• Inquisitorial institutions in American history
• Being more honest about scientific uncertainty
III. Other Related Posts
• Why leaving decisions to individual judgment is not necessarily fair
• A positive example of actuarialism in criminal policy
• Rhetorical concerns with evidence based medicine