skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 63330 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATION OF THE DUTY COUNSEL SCHEME - AUSTRALIA
Author(s): L NEWBY; M MARTIN
Corporate Author: Western Australia Dept of Corrections
Australia
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 59
Sponsoring Agency: Western Australia Dept of Corrections
Perth, Western, Australia 6000
Sale Source: Western Australia Dept of Corrections
1004 Hay Street
Perth,
Australia
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: EFFECTIVENESS OF THE 'DUTY COUNSEL SCHEME' FOR PROVIDING LEGAL SERVICES TO INDIGENT DEFENDANTS WAS STUDIED IN ONE AUSTRALIAN JURISDICTION AND FOUND TO BE A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTOR TO THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUAL REPRESENTATION.
Abstract: DUTY COUNSEL ARE LAWYERS ON A ROSTER SYSTEM ATTENDING AT MAGISTRATES COURTS AND POLICE LOCK-UPS BEFORE AND DURING COURT SESSIONS, WHO OFFER LEGAL ADVICE TO DEFENDANTS LACKING PRIVATE REPRESENTATION. THEY ADVISE DEFENDANTS REGARDING PLEA AND ACT FOR THEM IN COURT. THE STUDY INVOLVED OBSERVATION OF THE DAILY ACTIVITIES OF THE DUTY COUNSEL AND THE ASSISTING CLERK AND WELFARE OFFICER FOR A TOTAL OF 18 COURT DAYS BETWEEN DECEMBER 1974 AND FEBRUARY 1975. COURT PROCEEDINGS WERE DOCUMENTED, DEFENDANTS INTERVIEWED, AND DATA COMPARED WITH RECORDS FROM 1973 WHEN THE SCHEME WAS NOT YET IN OPERATION. SPECIFIC DATA FOR THE NUMBER OF CASES, THE KINDS OF OFFENSES AND PLEAS, ELECTION OF SUMMARY JURISDICTION, AND THE RACE OF THE DEFENDANTS WERE ANALYZED TO ILLUMINATE THE DISCERNIBLE EFFECTS OF DUTY COUNSEL INVOLVEMENT. FINDINGS INDICATE THAT THE SERVICE IS MOST USEFUL AT THE LOCK-UP POINT TO ALLAY DEFENDANTS' APPREHENSIONS. DURING COURT PROCEEDINGS, THE DUTY COUNSEL'S KNOWLEDGABLE PRESENCE HELPED THE CLIENT AS WELL AS THE COURT OFFICIALS. IN ADDITION, THE PROGRAM FUNCTIONS IN AN EDUCATIONAL CAPACITY, INTRODUCING FORMERLY IGNORANT PEOPLE TO LEGAL SERVICES AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR RIGHTS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM. RECOMENDATIONS ARE MADE FOR INCREASING THE ACCESSIBILITY OF THE DUTY COUNSEL AND UTILIZING THE DUTY CLERK AND WELFARE OFFICER SERVICES MORE EFFECTIVELY. DUTY COUNSEL SUPPORT AND ADVICE HELP REDRESS THE IMBALANCE TO THE DISADVANTAGED CRIMINAL DEFENDANT IN A SYSTEM OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE BASED ON THE ADVERSARY MODE. CHARTS ARE INCLUDED AND FOOTNOTES APPENDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Australia; Defender systems; Defense counsel effectiveness; Evaluation; Indigents; Legal aid services; Public defenders
Note: NO 9 IN THE DEPARTMENT'S RESEARCH AND INFORMATION SERIES
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63330

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.