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Adversary System Vs, Civil Law Method

990 words - 4 pages

“The goal of both the adversarial system and the inquisitorial system is to find the truth. But the adversarial system seeks the truth by pitting the parties against each other in the hope that competition will reveal it, whereas the inquisitorial system seeks the truth by questioning those most familiar with the events in dispute. The adversarial system places a premium on the individual rights of the accused, whereas the inquisitorial system places the rights of the accused secondary to the search for truth.” This, taken from a website I found on a comparison of the adversary system vs. the inquisitorial (or civil) system of justice. By definition, ...view middle of the document...

In researching this subject, I found an excerpt from D LubanLawyers and justice: An ethical study(Princeton University Press Princeton 1988, pg 92) which justified the retention of the adversarial system on pragmatic grounds: “First the adversary system, despite its imperfections, irrationalities, loopholes and perversities, seems to do as good a job as any at finding truth and protecting legal rights…Second, some adjudicatory system is necessary. Third, it’s the way we have always done things. These things constitute a pragmatic argument: if a social institution does a reasonable enough job of its sort that the costs of replacing it outweigh the benefits, and if we need that sort of job done, we should stay with what we have.”
In most instances it would seem that the inquisitorial system of law would be the more effective in that the focus is on finding the “absolute truth”. Its constitution issues would arise in whether or not the case is being tried with impartiality. Because the judge is the main “inquisitor” in the case, they may be subject to bias and thus would be in conflict with the defendant’s rights to a speedy, impartial trial. By comparison, the adversarial system of law, while can be cumbersome in that the two opposing parties can cause multiple delays, is by far the better system. It is a balance of opportunity to present a case that is in the best interest of justice. The impartiality of the judge and jury allows them access to more information that they would be likely to receive from either party solely. Since the system is based on adversity, when one party concedes to the others claim, the challenge ends. But, where there is still opposition, it is a matter of convincing the judge or jury and the parties can prevent various types of evidence including testimony, witnesses and physical items that support all or part of an argument. The...

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