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Is the adversarial system of criminal procedure more or less effective than an inquisitorial system in finding out the truth about an alleged offence? Advantages and disadvantages of adversarial and inquisitorial criminal procedure

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  1. Finding out the truth, a premium in the inquisitorial system
    1. A premium in both pure inquisitorial and mixed systems
    2. A risk for judicial errors in the adversarial system
    3. Objectivity, equality and equity
    4. An impartial decision
    5. A written procedure
    6. Finding out the truth, the society's interest
  2. Advocacy in favour the adoption of some aspects and characteristics of adversarial criminal procedure in France
  3. Advocacy in favour the adoption of some aspects and characteristics of inquisitorial criminal procedure in Australia
    1. A pre-trial court
    2. The standard of proof
    3. A code of criminal procedure

As early as 1866, Faustin Helie, a French judge and legal author, underlined the idea of a necessary equilibrium between the interests of the society (which needs to be protected from infringements) and the interests of the accused persons (whose rights must be totally guaranteed) in the criminal procedure. The aim of protecting society's interests in criminal procedure seems to be contradictory with the necessary protection of individual rights. Nevertheless, a modern criminal procedure system tries to conciliate those interests into an adequate system. For that reason, in countries such as Australia or France, the question of how to reform criminal procedure is arising but the arguments differ as Australia is a common law country and France is a civil law country with some differences in law traditions. In a criminal procedure, two different basic systems can be defined: the accusatorial or the adversarial system and the inquisitorial system. The adversarial system is defined as "The common law system of trial which requires one party, usually the plaintiff or the prosecution, to collect evidence and present it to a judge to prove a cause of action or charge against another party who has to refute or defend.?

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