accusatorial procedure

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A system of criminal justice in which conclusions as to liability are reached by the process of prosecution and defence. It is the primary duty of the prosecutor and defence to press their respective viewpoints within the constraints of the rules of evidence while the judge acts as an impartial umpire, who allows the facts to emerge from this procedure. Common-law systems usually adopt an accusatorial procedure. See also burden of proof. Compare inquisitorial procedure.

Subjects: Law.

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