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A suit cannot be pressed, whether on the domestic or international level, without supporting evidence. The processes of gathering such evidence are carefully regulated in many developed legal systems, in part because experience has shown that too zealous a pursuit of evidence can easily transform institutions designed to resolve conflict into a rationalization and a setting for possibly even more rancorous conflict. When some part of the state apparatus is prosecuting a case, liberal democracies have often imposed more stringent regulations as part of what we may call, in a nondocumentary sense, the constitutional or rule of law tradition, that continuing compact between governors and governed about restraint in the use of official power.

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