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Role of the Supreme Court of the United States, 44 Texas Law Review 954 (1966)


I believe it to be a good thing, however, that generalists, people who have little personal experience of, and no sense of engagement with, the criminal process should pass on the rules that govern it. An adversary, accusatory system is not the only method-as compared, for example, with the European inquisitorial system-and perhaps not even the best method for attaining justice. But it is the one we have, its fundamental premises operate to produce a sort of combat between the prosecution and the accused, and it would not be an adversary system if there weren't someone–and the trial judge does not quite fit this description–with supervisory authority over it who is above the battle. I have said that the adversary system is not the only and may not be the best method for attaining justice. But I will also say, if briefly and somewhat sententiously, that the worst possible system would be a mixed one, an adversary system that for reasons of expediency permitted itself here and there to be false to its premises.

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