Journal Title

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review





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To ask the question, “Does evidence law matter?,” is often to assume that some sets or groups of people believe it is important while others are challenging that view. However, another assumption regarding the nature of this question is possible—that the question is asked because legal academics believe that evidence law both does and does not matter, and that those academics also believe that these are irreconcilable beliefs. What is of particular interest is how legal academics reached this point and why they believe that evidence law both does and does not matter.

Consideration of these aspects of evidence law scholarship and study reveals that evidence law can be understood as something both rational, irrational, and non-rational. It can be perceived as permitting practitioners and scholars to both accommodate paradox and accept the conflict of an abstract rule of law imposed by “concrete” persons. This stands at odds with progressive reform efforts which attempt to define, codify, and ultimately reconcile the inherently dichotomous nature of evidence law. In order to achieve real progress in the area of evidentiary reform, the idea of progress will have to be abandoned.

Recommended Citation

Michael S. Ariens, The Law of Evidence and the Idea of Progress, 25 Loy. L.A.L. Rev. 853 (1992).

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