Evidence Production in Adversarial vs. Inquisitorial Regimes


The advantage of the adversarial regime of judicial decision-making is the superior information of the parties while the advantage of an idealized inquisitorial regime is its neutrality. We model the tradeoff by characterizing the properties of costly estimators used by each regime. The adversarial regime uses an "extremal" estimator that is based on the difference between the most favorable pieces of evidence produced by each party. The inquisitorial regime uses the sample mean. We find that neither regime dominates the other.