Inquisitorial Procedure


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Inquisitorial Procedure

 

a type of judicial procedure in which the prosecution and resolution of a case are put in the hands of the same people. The procedure arose in the Middle Ages (in the 15th century in Russia) and was the prevailing form of legal procedure during the age of absolutism. Originally used by ecclesiastical courts in heresy trials, the procedure was later adopted by secular courts. In this procedure there were no parties; the accused and the victim (who was regarded only as a complainant) had no procedural rights; and the case was tried secretly within the judicial chambers. Cases were decided entirely on the basis of written materials from a pretrial investigation, often without the accused even being present. Accused persons were tortured to obtain confessions, and even witnesses were sometimes subjected to torture.

The inquisitorial procedure was based on a system of formal evidence in which the value of each type of evidence was determined by law. A confession by the accused was held to be the best proof. The testimony of witnesses was evaluated with due regard for the social position of the witness. The procedure was abolished in France in 1789, and in the other Western European countries in 1848. In Russia it was abolished in 1864.

References in periodicals archive ?
Although this history is often overlooked, the American legal system already has embraced inquisitorial procedure.
The condition for this exemption to be accepted should be a prima facie test, not an inquisitorial procedure, as was the case here, which led the mother to weep after one of the several grueling hour-long interrogations and see the eldest son faint in the courthouse .
Among their topics are ideal-typical adversarial and inquisitorial procedure, the development of the Crown Prosecution Service, and the early history of prosecution.
examples of inquisitorial procedure in a modern form.
In the fifth chapter Berco looks at the functioning of the sodomy trial not only as an Inquisitorial procedure, but also as a social phenomenon, particularly affected by the act of denunciation.
Although the author mistakenly asserts that "a great majority of the [early] inquisitors were Dominicans" (55), her chapter on inquisitorial procedure bolsters her argument that inquisitorial testimony generally provides reliable information about the religious customs of late fifteenth-century Aragonese conversos.
Sanchez's trial thus becomes both a dramatic historical tale and a vehicle for exploring madness, religious toleration, and inquisitorial procedure in his era.
27) The ecclesiastical courts had a substantial jurisdiction over criminal offenses against religion, and utilized an inquisitorial procedure, "summoning people to answer reckless or unsupported charges.
Arizona(7) as an attempt to extend the principle of the adversary system that "a suspect is never regarded as a primary source of evidence" to the essentially inquisitorial procedure of stationhouse interrogation (p.
Lambert does not consider the origins of inquisitorial procedure in Roman law or compare them with secular usage.
The step-by-step exposition of trial methods that ended the Discours became standard parlementary and inquisitorial procedure in the region when faced with such cases, and Boguet's treatise on Burgundian law, whose publication would s hortly follow, reflected similar judicial principles and received similar praise.