OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies

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The jurisprudence of adversarial justice

Ikenga K.E. Oraegbunam


The adversarial system of justice works to resolve cases in court by pitting partial advocates for each side against one another with a judge who works to ensure that the rules of court and law are followed. The system thrives by its use of interested opposing parties debating over an issue in order to ensure the pursuit of justice. This system of justice delivery has been criticized for its value of winning over truth, but studies show it is a system that looks to protect the rights of individuals on trial. This paper examines the operation of the system in general and juxtaposes it with the opposing inquisitorial approach that renders the judge also an investigator. The paper equally studies how the system works in Nigeria and evaluates its results.

Keywords: Adversarial, Inquisitorial, Justice System, Nigeria, Judiciary

AJOL African Journals Online