Adversarial legal definition of adversarial
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adversarial having or involving opposing parties or interests in a legal contest. Very broadly speaking, the Anglo-American systems prefer a system of justice where the result is obtained through the battle between the opponents without the seeking of absolute truth being a part of the process. Traditionally this meant that the judge was a referee rather than a participant and that the parties had control of the process. Recent trends are to at least have judges manage cases and seek to identify issues in dispute and to promote ever greater disclosure or discovery of material in the hands of parties and elsewhere. This system contrasts in theory with an INQUISITORIAL SYSTEM.