Adversary vs. Civil Law

Topics: Common law, Jury, Civil law Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: September 18, 2013
The two legal systems in question are the adversary system, most commonly practiced in the United States, and the civil law system, also referred to as the inquisitorial system, most commonly practiced in European countries. Both systems have the same goal; to find the truth. However, each system has a very different path to justice. The adversarial system implies that two parties assume opposite positions in debating the guilt or innocence of an individual. In this scenario, the judge is required to be neutral at the contest unfolding before him or her. The role of the judge in this arrangement is to ensure the trial proceeds according to the procedural rules of trial or due process of law and that evidence entered is done so accordingly. The basis of this approach in criminal matters in which two sides engage in debate and battle about the guilt or innocence of an accused and since each side wants to win, then the debate will foster a critical look at the issues and the evidence to be examined by both parties. By engaging in this discourse, the truth should emerge as the judge watches on. This means that the roles played on both sides are very distinct. The defense counsel as one adversarial party gather the arguments to defend the client and attacks the credibility and worthiness of the evidence presented. The prosecutor puts forth the arguments on behalf of the state and gathers and presents the evidence pointing that the accused has committed an offense. The judge is the referee and arbitrator on issues related to clarifying what the law is. The judge does not intervene on any side except where procedural fairness is jeopardized by either party as dictated by the Sixth Amendment. In an inquisitorial system, a judge is involved in the preparation of evidence along with the police and in how the various parties are to present their case at the trial. The judge questions witnesses in depth and can even call witnesses to appear while prosecution and defense...
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