Adversarial Justice System

Essay by dhilby81College, UndergraduateA, October 2009

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The adversarial justice system is what makes up the law system in common law countries such as the United States. It relies on the skill of each lawyer representing his or her party's positions and involves a neutral third party, such as a jury, trying to determine the truth of the case. The adversarial system is a two-sided structure in which criminal trial courts prosecute against the defense. Justice is done when the most successful party is able to convince the judge/jury that his/her perception on the case is the correct one. Any criminal who needs to appear in the United States justice system would be wise to use the adversarial justice system.

The advantage of having the adversarial justice system allows the defendant to be judged by a jury of his peers rather than the inquisitorial system where he is only able to state his case to the judge himself.

One of the biggest advantages in the adversarial system it allows for a debate between both parties to present their side of their case. With the adversarial system many resources come into play for the attorneys’ to represent their clients. Key witness, expert testimony, evidence, and probable cause can help prove the innocent or guilt of the accuse parties. Each side has the opportunity to present an argument with the evidence to convince the judge or jury to convict the criminal or to not. It is appropriate and theoretically because of the evidence that the lawyer determines the fate of the defendant. The actual result of any trial is dependent on the fairness of the judge and his ruling which could tip the balance one way or the other in spite of the evidence.

Although there any many advantages of the adversarial system there are also many disadvantages as well. One of the main disadvantages of the adversarial system is that it’s slow. The judge can’t speed up the trail and it often causes the trials to end up taking longer than they should, sometimes resulting in trails taking days, weeks, months and possibly years. The jury could end up not being able to agree on whether or not if one is or isn’t innocent and the trial could end up being dismissed to a later date. This can cause the final decision of the trail to take years and end up costing everyone a lot of time and money. Another disadvantage is as stated in the Miranda rights “if you cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed to you”, which in the end could cause you to have an inexperienced lawyer causing you to possibly lose your case.

Justice and the truth is not the same thing. Justice speaks of fairness and rightfulness. Justice is the reward or plenty of what is deserved per each crime as found by a judge and jury. Justice may be found even though all the facts presented may not be truthful. Whereas truth is actual facts, correctness, complete honesty of all events that have accrued per each case presented. Each lawyer representing his or her client uses both truth and justice to represent his or her case in front of the jury. Depending upon the crime per victim an attorney may seek the truth rather than justice. When you tell the truth you have nothing to fear and the justice will be a fair reward in your case. Whereas when justice is served a client may be falsely accused of something that is not true.

A lot of people believe the adversarial system seeks justice and not truth which is how I feel. The systems goal is to achieve justice rather than the truth. Many believe lawyers spend more time avoiding the truth than seeking it making the adversarial system seem more for justice than truth. The truth may not be found because in the end the evidence is all that is heard by the court. Although many believe that the adversarial system is imperfect, the majority still feels that by giving each the defendant and plaintiff the opportunity to present their case before the judge is the best way to settle any disputes.

Wikipedia encyclopedia encyclopedia encyclopedia page 21 Advantages of the adversarial system paragraph 3 paragraph 6 paragraph 6 paragraph 6’s New World Dictionary page 354 definition of justiceWebster’s New World Dictionary page 692 definition of truth page 80 page 81