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Published on Oct 10, 2011
The criminal justice system is a broad term that descries the institutions, agencies, and processes that deal with the phenomenon of crime. The orthodox way of understanding the criminal justice system is as a process containing a number of different stages. One stage of the process is the criminal trial. As New Zealand's trial process is adversarial, fact-finders (a judge or jury) are required to decide the outcomes of cases based on the evidence presented by the parties. Rough equality between the parties in a criminal proceeding - prosecution and defence - is assumed, however, not all criminal defendants enjoy equal access to a lawyer and the state can draw upon vast resources in making its case.