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To what extent is it still true to say that legal justice in England and Wales rests upon adversarialism - Essay Example

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The legal system obtaining in England and Wales is based upon the adversarial system of justice this is in marked contrast to the system prevalent in the Netherlands and Germany, which is inquisitorial. In an adversarial system the trial is reminiscent of a combat between two…
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To what extent is it still true to say that legal justice in England and Wales rests upon adversarialism
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Download file to see previous pages In such a system a decision is arrived at by a neutral decision maker on the basis of the details furnished by the parties. In respect of criminal cases two decision makers will be present, namely the judge and the jury; the duty of the former is to decide on the legal aspects whereas the duty of the latter is confined to factual issues.2
Moreover, the large number of legal commentators has designated the Australian and American legal systems as being adversarial legal systems. “Such classification is made because the primary and dominant legal procedure in this system is adjudication on legal disputes defined by the parties who bring those disputes to court for adjudication”3.
The adoption of an adversarial system in England has been attributed to first, the practice of compurgation. This practice was an Anglo-Saxon defence in which several persons were made to testify in respect of a person’s innocence and second, the culmination of the extant English legal procedures like trial by jury and private prosecution4.
I believe strongly that our adversarial process is the most effective way of trying criminal issues. However, the legal system has begun to recognise that pure adversarialism does not always produce justice, and more effort is now going into establishing areas of consensus between prosecution and defence. For example, judges are reining in needless, destructive cross-examination which puts people such as rape victims on trial, and procedures are being invented to prevent ambush tactics which involve one side taking the other completely by surprise5.
The English legal system is primarily adversarial in composition. In this system resolution of issues is achieved by means of argument between the disputing parties in the presence of the presiding judge. This organization is methodical but costly and a considerable amount of time is taken in deciding ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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