Lena WahlbergSenior Lecturer, Associate Professor
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
I am a senior lecturer in jurisprudence, specializing in medical law. Most of my research has been concerned with problems that arise in the interface of law and the natural sciences. In my doctoral thesis, I examined some of the difficulties that arise when information from the natural sciences is used in the enforcement of tort law and environmental law. More precisely, the thesis showed how disciplinary differences pertaining to the conceptualizations of empirical matters hamper the establishment of legally relevant causal relations through the application of scientific information. The project was co-funded by the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Humanities at Lund University, and the research was conducted interdisciplinarily, in jurisprudence and theoretical philosophy. I finished the project in December 2010 with the dissertation Legal Questions and Scientific Answers: Ontological Differences and Epistemic Gaps in the Assessment of Causal Relations.
Part of my more recent research has been conducted within the interdisciplinary project “Ad hominem arguments in the legal evaluation of evidence”. The project involves the collaboration of researchers from the departments of psychology and law. As a part of this project, I studied to what extent arguments about an expert’s personal character affect the degree to which the courts rely on the expert’s statements.
Since January 2015, I am part of the inter-disciplinary and international research program ”Vetenskap och beprövad erfarenhet – VBE”. The program is funded by Riksbankens Jubilieumsfond, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and aims at clarifying the meaning of the notion of “vetenskap och beprövad erfarenhet”. In Swedish law, this notion (often translated into English “science and proven experience”) defines the gold standard for public decision-making and practice, especially in health care. At the same time, the notion is intriguingly vague and triggers fundamental questions about the use and value of different kinds of evidence, and of how information can be transferred between the legal and the medical field. The VBE research program ties together researchers from Philosophy, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Law, Medicine and Economics. The participants represent Harvard Medical School and the Carnegie Mellon University (US), University of Leeds (UK) and further Malmö University, Lund University and the Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU). The program will continue until the end of December 2020. (For more information, see www.vbe.lu.se)
In addition to research, I teach philosophy of law, medical law and evidentiary law. I am also the course coordinator of the Faculty’s doctoral course Theoretical Foundations for Doctoral Studies in Law. I am assistant supervisor of four doctoral students: Yana Litins’ka (medical law, Uppsala), Anna Nilsson, (public international law, Lund), My Pettersson (jurisprudence, Lund) och Ellika Sevelin (jurisprudence, Lund), and I was assistand supervisor of Moa de Lucia Dahlbeck (public international law, Lund) who was awarded the doctorate degree in April 2016.