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Can Trauma Provoke Multiple Sclerosis? - A Lawyer’s View
  1. Lord Davidson
  1. Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland 1983–96, Chairman of the Scottish Law Commission 1988–96


For many years, Scottish lawyers have struggled to understand complex medical evidence. When considering issues of causation, a judge, who often has little scientific training, is sometimes called upon to hear specialist experts who are working at the frontiers of medicine. Having listened to their sworn testimony, the judge must decide which eminent consultant or professor is more reliable than another. When considering which of several experts to prefer, the judge weighs up their qualifications and their experience. He may be impressed by the fact that one consultant stood up to cross examination better than another. Often it is the evidence of the expert who explains his position clearly that prevails. Whichever method the judge uses to form a view, the disappointed party and the team of supporting medical practitioners frequently read the judgement with a sense of grievance bordering on outrage.

In a recent Scottish case, a former police

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