Framing the Question of the Admissibility of Expert Testimony about Recollections of Trauma in the United States

  • Daniel W. Shuman
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 291)


To understand the rules of any legal system it is necessary to understand the constructs that underlie that system. Similarly worded rules may have vastly different consequences in different legal systems based on unspoken values and assumptions that underlie the operation of the legal system. This is nowhere more apparent than in seeking to understand the American legal system. The American legal system is built on a common law system inherited from England, informed by a revolutionary, rugged individualistic heritage of distrusting authority. This heritage is reflected in the U.S. Constitution which does not give citizens the right to receive anything from the government but rather grants them the right to protection from the government. This same heritage of distrust of authority is reflected in contemporary American political debates, for example those involving governmental assurances of health care for all citizens, in which the rejection of universal health care (unique among western democracies), is tied, in part, to the assumption that the government cannot be trusted to get it right.


Legal System Child Sexual Abuse Judicial System Expert Testimony Expert Witness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel W. Shuman
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA

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