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Knowledge in a Social World$
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Alvin I. Goldman

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198238201

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198238207.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 November 2019

Law

Law

Chapter:
(p.272) Nine Law
Source:
Knowledge in a Social World
Author(s):

Alvin I. Goldman (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198238207.003.0009

The fundamental aim of legal adjudication is to render substantive justice, but this requires true judgements to be made about material (nonlegal) facts. What institutional provisions for the disposition of evidence and the rendering of judgements will generate the highest ratio of true judgements? The chapter compares the civil‐law system of the Continent with the Anglo‐American adversarial system, pinpointing several aspects of the adversarial system that pose substantial risks of distorting the truth. For example, adversarial control of proceedings implies that lawyers in cross‐examination can make opposing witnesses appear unreliable or untrustworthy even when they are not, thereby leading the jury in the direction of error. If neutral judges conduct witness interrogation, as they do in the civil‐law system, this potential distortion is avoided.

Keywords:   adjudication, cross‐examination, evidence, justice, law

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