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 ?
From the premise of respecting the "rules of the game", supported by the idea of separation of the tasks of defending and judging, extraneous to the accomplishment of the obtained result (as in the inquisitorial procedure), in the accusatory procedure it is over the defense of fundamental rights that should stay the called "formalismo accusatorio: quanto meno spazio occupa l'organo giudicante, tanto pio pesano i riti" (CORDERO, 2003, p.
The orientational and substantive aspects of merits review are concerned with providing probing, individualised review of facts through modified inquisitorial procedures, consistent with a duty to inquire.
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.
Courts of equity, for example, are rooted in inquisitorial procedure. Kessler, supra note 13, at 1193.
The law of K.'s trial seems partly arbitrary, since no formal charge is made but the court is merely 'von der Schuld angezogen', and partly archaic, since it rests entirely on the inquisitorial procedure which was severely diluted by the new Austrian code of criminal justice promulgated in 1850.
Sanchez's trial thus becomes both a dramatic historical tale and a vehicle for exploring madness, religious toleration, and inquisitorial procedure in his era.
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.
To be clear, this Article does not suggest that courts exercise an outdated model of inquisitorial procedure whereby judges call and question witnesses without notice to parties and outside of their presence.
Both these examples of procedural differences suggest that the judge-led inquisitorial procedure allows greater interference in the life of an individual accused of a crime.