Essay on Benefits of the Common Law legal System
The adversarial system is a legal system used in the Common Law countries, such as England and the United States, where two advocates represent their parties’ positions before an impartial person or group of people, usually a jury or judge, who attempt to determine the truth of the case. For …show more content…
The adversarial system places decision-making authority in the hands of neutral decision makers. The judge determines the pertinent law and the jury determines the facts as well as the “winner”; only in bench trials does the judge take on the role of fact-finder (Walpin, 2003). The system emphasizes procedural rules designed to ensure that the contest between the parties is a fair fight. Most of the procedural advantages are on the side of the accused (Dammer & Albanese, 2011). For example, the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to be free from illegal searches and seizures, the right to appeal, and many others.
Critics of the adversarial system are concerned that those who are reoccurring criminals will learn the system and manipulate the rules despite their obvious guilt (Dammer & Albanese, 2011). Two of the major criticisms of the adversarial system are the combat effect and the wealth effect. The combat effect involves suppressing and distorting the truth in the pursuit of winning the courtroom struggle (2011). Advocates rebut that mitigating factors, such as plea-bargaining, which most cases are settled through guilty pleas, counteract excessive manipulation (Dammer & Albanese,