Inquisitorial and Adversarial Systems

Download .pdf, .docx, .epub, .txt
Did you like this example?

An inquisitorial system of criminal justice offers the best system for ensuring that those guilty of committing criminal offences are convicted and that the innocent are acquitted. Inquisitorial and Adversarial Systems Defined and Compared In England and Wales and other common law countries such as the United States, criminal proceedings are operated on the basis of what is sometimes referred to as an adversarial system of justice. This differs from the so-called inquisitorial system of justice which is employed in other legal jurisdictions including, in particular many continental European jurisdictions.[1] Briefly, in the adversarial system the sitting magistrates or in more serious cases a jury decides on guilt having heard the opposing defence and prosecution presentations of the case. The defence and prosecution parties are at liberty to deliver their case as they deem appropriate within certain boundaries, and they are free to call and examine witnesses as they see fit. Not guilty pleas result in what effectively amounts to a contest between the two parties debating the facts of a case and this is the origin of the term adversarial.[2] The adversarial system therefore relies on the skill of the opposing advocates representing their respective party’s interests and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. Judges in an adversarial system are generally bound to focus their efforts on ensuring the fair play of due process, and fundamental justice. Inter alia, adversarial judges determine, typically when called upon by counsel rather than of their own motion, what evidence is to be admitted when there is a dispute. On the other hand, as stated above, the inquisitorial system is that which is employed on the continent of Europe among most (but not all) systems of civil law (ie. those deriving from the Roman or Napoleonic Codes).[3] The inquisitorial system requires a judge or a group of judges actively to investigate the case before them. An inquisitorial system can therefore be defined as a legal system in which the court or a part of the court is proactively involved in determining the facts of the case. This differs from the adversarial system where, as stated, the function of the court is solely to act as an impartial arbiter and referee between parties concerned. In general terms the inquisitorial system is applicable to questions of criminal procedure as distinct from matters of substantial law; that is to say, an inquisitorial system determines the way in which criminal inquiries and trials are conducted, not the type of crimes which can be prosecuted, or the range of sentences that they may carry. That said, the line between adversarial and inquisitorial systems is to some extent blurred. In some adversarial jurisdictions the trial judge is entitled to participate in the fact finding inquiry by questioning witnesses in certain circumstances. Adversarial rules on the admissibility of evidence may also allow the judge to act more like an enquirer than an arbiter of justice. Possible Advantages of the Inquisitorial Process In inquisitorial systems the judge is involved in the investigation and in the preparation of evidence by the police,

Do you want to see the Full Version?

View full version

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Thank you!

We will send an essay sample to you in 24 Hours. If you need help faster you can always use our custom writing service.

Get help with my paper
Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. You can leave an email and we will send it to you.