As was mentioned in Chapter 14, in both the UK and the USA the legal system is referred to as being an ‘adversarial’ system, in which the defence and the prosecution can be thought of as in competition with one another. The role of each side is to present the most compelling case it can, with a view to persuading the jury or the judge that its own portrayal of the case is the best representation of what is most likely to have actually happened. In such a situation, the legal professionals from both sides are able to ask questions of any witnesses and of the defendant (or defendants). Where that questioning is being carried out by what could be construed as ‘the other side’, it is referred to as cross-examination. Doak (2005) wrote: ‘The entire criminal process is designed to culminate in a confrontational showdown between the prosecution and the accused’ (p. 297).
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