Legal Questions

What are the three systems of criminal procedure?

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1. Inquisitorial – the detection and prosecution of offenders are not left to the initiative of private parties but to the officials and agents of the law.  Resort is made to secret inquiry to discover the culprit, and violence and torture are often employed to extract confessions.  The judge is not limited to the evidence brought before him but could proceed with his own inquiry which was not confrontative.

2. Accusatorial – The accusation is exercised by every citizen or by a member of the group to which the injured party belongs.  As the action is a combat between the parties, the supposed offender has the right to be confronted by his accuser.  The battle in the form of a public trial is judged by a magistrate who renders a verdict.  The essence of the accusatorial system is the right to be presumed innocent. To defeat this presumption, the prosecution must establish proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt (moral certainty).

3. Mixed – This is a combination of the inquisitorial and accusatorial systems.  The examination of defendants and other persons before the filing of the complaint or information is inquisitorial.

The judicial set-up in the Philippines is accusatorial or adversary in nature.  It contemplates two contending parties before the court, which hears them impartially and renders judgment only after trial.

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