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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157148 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Aid Duty Counsel Systems in Canada: Summary Report, Working Document
Corporate Author: Prairie Research Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 48
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Department of Justice
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8, Canada
Prairie Research Associates, Inc
Publication Number: WD1994-14e
Sale Source: Canada Department of Justice
Justice Bldg. Kent St., at Wellington St.
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study was conducted to provide a comprehensive description and analysis of duty counsel arrangements in Canada in communities where permanent courts exist.
Abstract: Traditionally, duty counsel involves legal assistance provided without charge to unrepresented individuals who must appear in court. Because duty counsel systems are the responsibility of provincial justice systems, the legislative basis and organizational practices of duty counsel vary. Some jurisdictions have implemented computerized accounting and recording which it makes it relatively easy to develop quantitative perspectives on duty counsel activities. Other jurisdictions have only recently begun to keep information in paper files, the primary role of which is to generate payment from the Federal Government. Study findings indicate that legal aid plans have provided more consistent services to those appearing in court without representation. Duty counsel also offers critical support to court case flow management. On the negative side, variations in the competency and commitment of individual duty counsel are apparent, and court procedures and facilities are often problematic. An overview of existing duty counsel services in Canada is presented, and the importance of improving access to quality legal aid services is stressed. 8 tables
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Canada; Defender systems; Defense counsel; Defense services; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign offenders; Legal aid services
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