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NCJ Number: 64029 Find in a Library
Title: PUBLIC DEFENDER IN CRIMINAL CASES
Journal: JUSTITIELE VERKENNINGEN  Volume:5  Dated:(1977)  Pages:5-17
Author(s): M W BOL; L J M D'ANJOU
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF THE DEFENSE LAWYER IN DUTCH LAW AND LEGAL PRACTICE ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ALTHOUGH ACCORDING TO DUTCH LAW EVERY CITIZEN HAS THE RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL AT EVERY STEP OF THE LEGAL PROCESS, LEGAL REPRESENTATION HAS BEEN LARGELY RESTRICTED TO THE MAIN TRIAL. EVEN THERE, THE DEFENSE USUALLY CONSISTS OF NOTHING MORE THAN A PLEA FOR CLEMENCY. REASONS FOR THIS SITUATION ARE THE GREATER ATTRACTIVENESS OF CIVIL LAW FOR LAWYERS, THE LOW DEFENSE FEES AND LACK OF PAYING CLIENTS, AND ESPECIALLY THE TENDENCY OF THE DUTCH JUDICIAL SYSTEM TO FAVOR A CRIME CONTROL MODEL RATHER THAN A DUE PROCESS MODEL SO THAT THE DEFENDER'S ROLE IS LITTLE MORE THAN ONE OF SUPPORTING THE JUDGE. AS A RESULT OF THE LIMITATION ON THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY'S ACTIVITIES, THE DEFENDANT'S OWN STATEMENTS DURING POLICE INTERROGATION WHEN NO DEFENSE LAWYER IS PRESENT MAY WEIGH AGAINST HIM DURING SENTENCING OR DETENTION DECISIONS. POLICE DO NOT ENCOURAGE SUSPECTS TO CONSULT THEIR LAWYERS, AS THE PRESENCE OF A LAWYER MAY REDUCE THEIR CHANCES OF OBTAINING A CONFESSION. HOWEVER, THE SITUATION IS CHANGING. MANY LEGAL EXPERTS FAVOR LIMITING THE POWER OF JUDGES MAINLY TO PROCEDURAL MATTERS AND PLACING SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON DUE PROCESS. A LAW PASSED IN 1974 REQUIRES THAT ALL INDIVIDUALS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY BE ASSIGNED A LAWYER. SPECIAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND DEFENSE SERVICES HAVE ALSO BEEN INITIATED BY THE LEGAL CONSULTATION OFFICE. POLICE CHIEFS ARE LEARNING TO ACCEPT THIS FORM OF LEGAL AID, AND THE REMUNERATION FOR LEGAL SERVICES DEFENSE PRACTICES QUALITATIVELY. IN AN IMPROVED SYSTEM, THE DEFENDER HAS THE TASKS OF PRESENTING THE ACCUSED INDIVIDUAL'S POINT OF VIEW IN ALL PHASES OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS, OF ASSURING THAT PROPER INTERVENTION PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED, OF INFLUENCING THE JUDGE'S SENTENCING DECISIONS, AND OF PROVIDING HUMAN SUPPORT TO HIS OR HER CLIENT. TENSION BETWEEN THE DEFENSE'S ANTAGONISTIC POSITION WITH REGARD TO THE JUDGE AND PROSECUTOR, AND COOPERATIVE EFFORTS OF THE DEFENSE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CLIENT IS INEVITABLE. TO IMPROVE THE DEFENSE SYSTEM STILL FURTHER, LEGAL ASSISTANCE MUST BE PROVIDED FOR ACCUSED PARTIES AT ALL STAGES OF THE LEGAL PROCESS, THE QUALITY OF LEGAL COUNSEL MUST BE IMPROVED THROUGH SPECIAL TRAINING OF LAWYERS IN DEFENSE TECHNIQUES, AND LEGAL DEFENSE EFFORTS MUST BE ADEQUATELY FINANCED. NOTES ARE SUPPLIED.
Index Term(s): Crime control model; Defense counsel; Defense counsel effectiveness; Defense services; Due process model; Legal aid services; Netherlands; Rights of the accused
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64029

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