The inquisitorial system is associated with civil law legal systems and has existed for many centuries. It is characterized by thorough preliminary investigations and interrogations, with the aim of avoiding bringing an innocent person to justice. The inquisitorial trial can be described as an official investigation to uncover the truth, while the adversarial system uses a competitive process between the prosecution and defense to establish the facts. The inquisitorial process gives more power to the supervising judge, whereas in the adversarial system, the judge serves more as an arbiter between prosecution and defence claims (Dammer & Albanese, 2014; Reichel, 2017). The two systems are different throughout, as different countries have changed their criminal procedures in different ways over the years in order to balance the interests of the state in arresting and convicting offenders with the interests of citizens who may be involved in the trial. As this module will show, these different legal traditions influence the way criminal cases are examined and prosecuted. The role of prosecutors may vary depending on the legal tradition of a given country. Two types of legal traditions dominate the type of investigation and jurisprudence in the world: adversarial and inquisitorial legal systems. Common law countries use an adversarial system to establish the facts in the decision-making process. The prosecution and the defence compete with each other, and the judge serves as an arbiter to ensure fairness to the accused and to ensure that the legal rules of criminal procedure are followed. The adversarial system assumes that the best way to get to the truth about a case is through a competitive procedure to accurately determine the facts and the application of the law.

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