Research Handbooks in Comparative Law series
Edited by Jacqueline E. Ross and Stephen C. Thaman
Chapter 15: Strength, weakness, or both? On the endurance of the adversarial-inquisitorial systems in comparative criminal procedure
This book has gathered essays by a group of distinguished comparative criminal procedure scholars who are mostly based in Europe and the United States. Given that comparative criminal procedure is a small academic field, the 14 chapters by these 17 scholars can be considered representative of the main trends in comparative criminal procedure scholarship today. In addition, because a substantial number of these scholars have been in legal academia for less than twenty years, they not only represent the current generation of comparative criminal procedure scholars, but also indicate which directions this scholarship is likely to take in the upcoming years.Writing the epilogue of this Handbook provides a unique opportunity to make a general reflection on comparative criminal procedure as a field of research, inquiry and policy-making. This chapter will concentrate on the opposition between adversarial and inquisitorial systems in particular and between civil law and common law more generally, distinctions that have been at the center of comparative criminal procedure for a very long time. Contrary to claims that comparative criminal procedure is a new field, my first argument in this epilogue is that this collection of essays shows that contemporary comparative criminal procedure is an heir of this adversarial-inquisitorial and common law-civil law tradition.
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