Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

The Inquisitorial Advantage in Removal Proceedings

73 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2012  

Won Kidane

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: 2012


This article takes a radically different and unique approach to improving due process in removal/deportation proceedings. It argues that the existing adversarial system of adjudication, which is incontrovertibly inefficient, expensive and unfair, is a product of cultural imaginary. It demonstrates that if the current adversarial model is measured by contemporary utilitarian standards, it is utterly counterproductive. The article then recommends the adoption of the inquisitorial model of the civilian system by converting the majority of the 951 government lawyers, who now serve as the non-citizens’ adversaries, into administrative law judges. Through a comparative analysis of the common law and civil law systems, the article demonstrates that the civilian or inquisitorial model saves a significant amount of resources while improving accuracy, fairness and general acceptability of the system. It finally argues that there is no principled reason why the inquisitorial model cannot be adopted.

Keywords: Civil law, Common law, adversarial system, inquisitorial system, removal proceedings, immigration adjudication, immigration enforcement, representation in immigration proceedings, deportation proceedings

Suggested Citation

Kidane, Won, The Inquisitorial Advantage in Removal Proceedings (2012). Akron Law Review, Vol. 45, 2012; Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-20. Available at SSRN:

Won Kidane (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue
Sullivan Hall
Seattle, WA 98122
United States
206-398-4390 (Phone)
206-398-4036 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views