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Legality and Discretion

Jurists have long perceived the inquisitorial model of penal procedure to be better suited to determine the truth because of its supposedly more scientific approach to gathering and analyzing evidence and its use of legally trained judges to determine whether the elements of the charged crimes have been proved. The system was designed to eliminate as much discretion as possible from decisions about charging crimes and from rendering judgments based on the evidence. Known as the legality principle, it is aimed at preventing the unequal application of laws. Police were required to arrest a person if they became aware of conduct that constituted a violation of the criminal law. Prosecutors were obligated to prosecute, and the judge was obligated to render a guilty judgment.

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