Possible reforms to the adversary system

Increase the role of the judge

Judges have a great deal of knowledge and expertise. By playing a greater role in the trial process – by calling and questioning witnesses – they could use their expertise and impartiality to get to the truth, rather than presenting an argument. However, critics of this proposed reform suggest that, by increasing the role of the judge, they risk losing their impartiality.

Relax rules of evidence and procedure

Courts could significantly reduce costs and time by having witnesses give written evidence rather than oral evidence. In addition, it may mean that witnesses, who may have been nervous during oral evidence, can give their evidence uninterrupted. However, written evidence cannot be cross-examined and therefore may be less reliable than oral evidence.

Increase funding for the legal system

By increasing funding to courts, governments could provide more courts, including more specialist courts, and improve use of technology. These reforms would reduce delays and costs associated with the adversary system of trial.

See also:

Features of the adversary system of trial

Strengths and weaknesses of the adversary system of trial