Jewish Law - Accusatory and Inquisitorial

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Ultimately, however, the smooth functioning of a judicial system depends on its actors, procedural rules provide only a general framework in this regard. A truly mixed procedure requires Prosecutors, Defence Counsel and Judges who have knowledge of both common and civil law and are able to look beyond their own legal systems. This site uses cookies , tags, and tracking settings to store information that help give you the very best browsing experience.

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Close this message. International criminal procedure: "adversarial", "inquisitorial" or mixed?

The Inquisition, Professing Jews, and Christian Images in Seventeenth-Century Modena

In: International Criminal Law Review. Author: Kai Ambos. Article price:.

Criminal Procedure

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Episode The Spanish Inquisition

Abstract The article analyses whether international criminal procedure is "adversarial", "inquisitorial" or mixed. Volume 3: Issue 1.

It goes even farther, for it makes no use whatever of admissions or of confessions of guilt, either in or out of court; the Scriptural command, "At the mouth of two witnesses or at the mouth of three witnesses shall the matter be established" Deut. The witnesses can testify only to what they have seen; or, when the offense consists of spoken words, as to what they have heard. Testimony as to the admissions of the accused is inadmissible; for even if they were made in open court, the judges would not listen to them, nor be influenced by them in their decision.

The treatise Sanhedrin chaps.

The first chapter of the treatise Makkot deals with the proceedings against false witnesses see Deut. The form in which the accusation should be drawn is not touched upon either in the Mishnah or in the Gemara; it is not even clear that the accusation was reduced to writing: although probably it was, since writing entered into other parts of the procedure, and two or three secretaries were employed by the court to record the views of the judges, and heralds were sent forth at the execution to read the sentence.

At any rate, as the constitution of the court varied according to the seriousness of the crime it being in some cases constituted of three, in other cases of twenty-three, judges , a definite charge must have been made before the trial could begin.

Edited by Darryl K. Brown, Jenia Iontcheva Turner, and Bettina Weisser

We find nothing in the Talmud as to discrepancy or "variance" between the accusation and proof, by reason of which so many criminals escape under the English-American methods; but a discrepancy between the witnesses on a material point would lead to an acquittal, whenever two witnesses do not testify to the same criminal act. Any one of these disciples is permitted to raise and argue a point on behalf of the accused, and the latter also may argue on his own behalf; arguments in favor of acquittal may be raised even after sentence, up to the very moment of execution.

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  • Edited by Darryl K. Brown, Jenia Iontcheva Turner, and Bettina Weisser!

Only when all doubt is at an end the condemned criminal is exhorted to confess, in order that he may find forgiveness in another world; but his confession never can be used against him to assure his punishment on earth. Curiously enough, this custom of exhorting the condemned man to confess his guilt in his last moments is based on the example of Joshua Josh.

This short method of dealing with a man who has by his misdeed brought God's wrath down upon his people was deemed "a decision for the hour" horaat sha'ah , not to be taken as a precedent in the affairs of life in later days.