Inquisitorial V. Adversarial System

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Australia has used the adversarial system of law since the federation was formed in 1901. However, there is argument that the inquisitorial system would better serve the country. There are numerous valid arguments for having the adversarial system, but also many to have the inquisitorial system. Changes in the legal system would have many social and legal implications. An analysis of these implications would need to be considered before any changes in the law were to occur.

The adversarial system is “an adjudication by a neutral, passive and non-interventionist judge and court” (Natalie Cuffe, 2004). Basically, the lawyers and the clients of each party present the case in the client’s best interest, while a judge listens impartially without doing a great deal of further research. The make a judgment if there is no jury and determine questions of law. When there is a jury present, these 12 reach a conclusion, based on the standard of proof and what has been heard in the case. This system is largely focused on the impartiality of the arbiter and the right to fair trial. It incorporates features such as the presumption of innocence, the right to free speech, rules of evidence as well as a number of traditions. Countries connected to United Kingdom have used it for many years; these include Australia, New Zealand, and America. The opposing system of trial is the inquisitorial system and countries such as France, Italy and Germany use this.

Basic human rights are the primary focus of this system, most importantly, the right to fair trial which is the framework of entire system. The various features outlined below highlight the many advantages of a system built on this ideology. The fundamental protection of individual rights, such as the right to free speech and the presumption of Innocence are key to smooth running. The presumption of innocence is giving the accused a chance to be assumed innocent until proven guilty in the judge of juror’s verdict. The book,...
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