Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Roger E. Hartley
Black's Law Dictionary defines the adversary system of justice as “the jurisprudential network of laws, rules and procedures characterized by opposing parties who contend against each other for a result favorable to themselves” (Black 1990: 53). This form of justice typically pits parties in a dispute (e.g., a complainant or plaintiff versus a defendant) in a self-interested game in which they wage a war of arguments designed to discover truth and resolve disputes. The plaintiff and defendant are each given an opportunity to present facts and make arguments for their side. The result of these arguments is either a negotiated settlement or a decision by a neutral arbiter (a judge, magistrate, arbitrator, or a jury). Adversarial justice is one of two common dispute-resolution forms found around the world, the other being the inquisitorial system. Adversarial justice is typically based on the common law tradition, which operates on a case-by-case basis ...