Inquisitorial System (Non-adversarial System)

Inquisitorial or non-adversarial system is characterized by the active involvement of the court in the case investigation. This is contrary to the adversarial system which is characterized by the court’s being an impartial referee. The inquisitorial system is being employed in summary hearings such as in minor traffic violations. In this system, it is preferred that the investigation proceed without the presence of a counsel. In the United States, it is applicable to criminal procedure issues and not substantive law matters. This legal system is generally observed in territories with civil legal systems such as Italy and France.

For instance, in France’s criminal justice system, both the prosecution and the defense may request the examining judge to investigate complex cases such as embezzlement, corruption, and murder.

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