“In the United States we have what is often called an adversarial system of justice. However, because it is adversarial—as distinct from inquisitorial—it is sometimes easy to forget that the purpose of the system is not to hold a contest for its own sake. The purpose of our system of justice is the orderly ascertainment of the truth and the application of the law to that truth. Just because a court must rely on fallible litigants to present competent evidence does not vitiate the fundamental purpose of the proceeding, which is most assuredly not to have a contest but to establish what actually happened. The adversarial system works not because it is a contest to see who has the cleverest lawyer but because allowing two or more sides to present evidence to a neutral decisionmaker is an epistemologically sophisticated way to get at the truth. And while certain aspects of the law, namely the fact that there are fixed rules and outcomes, allow it to be analogized to a game, it is most definitely not a spectator sport.” – Presiding Judge Sills, Guardianship of Simpson, November 10, 1998 (internal cites and quotations omitted)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.