Adversarial System Law & Legal Definition


Adversary system or adversarial system is the legal system followed in the US. Under this system, the parties to a case develop and present their arguments, gather and submit evidence, call and question witnesses, and, generally control the information presented according to the law and legal process. The parties are usually represented by attorneys who actively present the concerned party’s case. The contest is before an impartial person or group of people, usually a jury or judge. They try to determine the truth of a case. The judge or jury being convinced of either of the adversary’s perspective on the case presented before it shall pass the judgment on the issue. The adversary system defines a mode of dispute resolution in which the competing claims of parties are presented by legal representatives who have interest in the outcomes of dispute, to an impartial third party, with power to impose authorities. In criminal cases, this is often called the accusatorial system.