The inquisitorial system is a legal system that requires the court or a particular part of the court to conduct an investigation of its own to uncover the truth behind the case. Unlike an adversarial system that puts a prosecution and a defense against one another to present facts and information, an inquisitorial system mandates that the court should be in charge of collecting data to come up with a judgement. There are pros and cons to the use of an inquisitorial system, and we discuss them in detail with this short list.
List of Pros of Inquisitorial System
1. No Lawyer Advantage
With the adversarial system, the defendant and the prosecution are responsible for finding their own lawyer and legal counsel which will help them win their case. If one of the parties is able to hire a better lawyer, they have higher chances of winning which may not necessarily reflect the actual truth behind the case. There have been instances in the past when cases were won not because the truth was revealed, but because one lawyer had more experience than the other.
2. Eliminates Emotionally Driven Judgement
An adversarial system uses a jury which is a group of members of society who ultimately come up with the judgement. They sit and watch the proceedings, after which they meet to discuss their ideas and decide the guilt of the accused. Because some defendants can seem pitiful, kind, and undeserving, the jury can be swayed by emotional factors, driving them to provide false judgement.
3. One Legal Expert
With one legal expert studying the case, they are more likely to come up with an untainted decision that relies on facts rather than fancy, flowery arguments provided by two different parties.
List of Cons of Inquisitorial System
1. Chance of Bias
One of the main concerns of those against the inquisitorial system is that it is not immune to bias. The court could issue judgement in favor of one side simply because they were paid to, or because of preference.
With just one group uncovering information instead of two, the inquisitorial system could take some time. This leaves cases being left open for much longer than they would be with the adversarial system.
3. Limited Opportunity to Defend Self
Unlike the adversarial system, the inquisitorial system makes it hard for individuals to defend themselves, especially if the information uncovered works against them.