*National Parks and Wildlife Service, 43 Bridge Street, Hurstville, NSW 2220.
The alarm cause d by a live crocodile in the courtroom graphically illustrates the recent emergence of zoology as the subject of litigation. There are noticeable difference s between the aims and style of a zoologist and a lawyer in the presentation of material. Given these differences, it is not surprising that the court is better suited to the barrister’s style. For a zoologist, the lawyers’ day-to-day words, such as “affidavit”, “cross-examination”, “litigation” and “expert witness”, can be intimidating but, like all disciplines, the language of law can be learnt. However, words like “significant” can be confusing because they mean something specific and rigorous to a scientist, yet something equally specific, but different, to a lawyer in the Land and Environment Court, where it is the judge who decides whether or not an impact is likely to be significant. A scan of the Environmental and Planning Law Journal discloses valuable insights for zoologists who appear in court because a number of papers discuss the strengths and weakness of environmental legislation and the implications of court decisions. Sinderman’s book Winning the Games Scientists Play and Medawar’s Advice to a Young Scientist capture much of the essence of the practice of science and, being so well written, could be enjoyed by both scientist and lawyer alike. The aim of Zoology in Court is to lay the foundations for a more productive relationship between the two professions.