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The Adversarial Nature Of The Trial Provides An Effective Means Of Getting To The Truth Of What Happened?. Discuss.

2089 words - 9 pages

The main aim of the Justice System is to obtain the truth and enforce laws, statutes and legislation created by the government. However some would argue that some legal procedures in some countries are not as efficient as others at find the truth of what actually happened. The two systems which are constantly being analysed is the Adversarial and the Inquisitorial procedure which both have supporters and critiques, advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the main aim of the essay will be to demonstrate how legal systems available in some countries are sometimes insufficient in finding the truth of cases and subsequently leading to miscarriage of justice. The essay will do this by focusing on showing a brief history on the development of the current British legal system. Secondly, comparing and contrasting the adversarial and inquisitorial system. Additionally, showing the advantages and disadvantages of these procedures by focusing on four main areas such as, the legal representations, the police, the judges and lastly the defendant. Finally, the paper will conclude by answering the question of whether the adversarial nature of trials provides an effective means of getting to the truth of what happened.

The legal system during the medieval era was not as sophisticated or as concerned with human rights as the much as the justice system is today. Additionally, Hosteller (2008, p. 9) reports that treason and felony cases of those accused were not permitted to have legal council present to support them. He also goes on to state that during this period many trials were, trials by ordeal where by a person was likely to be kill or tortured in a brutal fashion such a trial by fire, water, or battle. However, these forms of the legal system would later be abolished by the Lateran Council in 1215, the abolishing of trial by ordeal later lead to changes in the structure and roles of the legal profession (Hosteller 2008, p. 9). For example, “in 1219 they turned the presenting jury into a jury of fact finders who would determine guilt or innocence. Thereby avoided both the all-powerful judge and the use of torture.” (Hosteller, 2008: 9). Over time the judicial system that is currently in used today would fist be established during the early 18th century to create a more civilized, efficient, sophisticated and fair system. once established it quickly spread to countries where common law had been introduced usually English colonies, including those in America (Hosteller 2008, p. 9). This would later become known as the Adversarial trial.

The Adversarial trial process is usually seen in western societies such as England, North America and commonwealth countries. Kate Malleson (2007) describes the adversarial trial as a debate between two opposing sides, the defence and the prosecution. Both sides have equal rights and the opportunity to find evidence to support their view of what actually happened. “They do this by examining witnesses...

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