What Does Right to Legal Representation Mean

In accordance with article 125 of the Constitution of the People`s Republic of China and article 11 of the Criminal Procedure Law of 1996, Chinese citizens have the right to a lawyer before the courts. The defendant`s right to a lawyer in China does not come into effect until a case is brought before the courts. It does not exist at the investigation stage. A suspect under investigation only has the right to hire a lawyer to help him obtain bail, file procedural complaints, and obtain details from the police about the nature of the alleged crime, rather than start building a defense. A suspect has the right to hire a lawyer if he or she has been interrogated by the authorities or subjected to movement restrictions. In cases defined as state secrets, the right to a lawyer is more restricted: a lawyer can only be appointed with the permission of the investigating authority to assist the suspect. [9] Chinese law allows courts to appoint a lawyer for an accused who is unable to appoint one, and it is mandatory for courts to appoint a lawyer for the blind, deaf-mute and dumb, minors and anyone facing the death penalty. The Chinese government runs thousands of legal aid centers for impoverished defendants across the country. Provincial governments, not the central government, are responsible for setting the threshold above which an economically disadvantaged person meets the criteria for mutual legal assistance. [10] [11] With respect to the Federal Civil Procedure Act, there is a constitutional right to a lawyer for minors in criminal proceedings,[51] and there is a right to “qualified and independent assistance” (but not necessarily a lawyer) for prisoners who have been involuntarily transferred to a psychiatric institution. [52] The Confederation`s constitutional right to appoint a lawyer following a procedure of parental authority is valid on a case-by-case basis. [53] For civil contempt proceedings related to non-payment of family allowances, the United States has this right closely related to the right to silence and other rights to arrest known as miranda rights.

Even if a defendant is represented by a lawyer of his or her choice, he or she may be entitled to relief on appeal if the lawyer has not provided adequate representation. The defendant must prove that the lawyer`s performance “was below an objective standard of reasonableness” and that this was prejudicial to the case. Strickland vs. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688-92 (1984). Subject to considerations such as conflicts of interest,[39] scheduling, counsel`s authorization to practice law in the jurisdiction, and counsel`s willingness to represent the accused (whether pro bono or for a fee),[40][40] defendants have the right to be represented by counsel of their choice. The remedy against the erroneous withdrawal of the first choice lawyer is automatic cancellation. [41] The Constitution of Singapore states that “any person arrested shall be informed as soon as possible of the reasons for his arrest and may be consulted and defended by a lawyer of his choice.” The Supreme Court of Singapore has ruled that this means that the defendant must obtain legal advice within a reasonable time after arrest, but not necessarily immediately after arrest.

[67] In criminal cases, the government provides state-funded legal assistance only when the accused faces the death penalty, but it provides legal representation and advice in various civil cases. State-funded legal assistance is provided through the Office of Legal Aid of the Ministry of Legal Affairs. Most clients will have to pay a fee to the Legal Aid Office, although their financial resources are taken into account in determining the amount they will have to pay. The Law Society of Singapore also provides pro bono legal representation to impoverished defendants facing criminal charges that are not punishable by death through its criminal legal aid programme. [68] The Scottish Legal Aid Board provides legal aid in civil and criminal matters in Scotland. In criminal cases, legal aid is granted when serious charges are laid which may result in imprisonment or loss of employment, persons with mental and physical disabilities, persons who do not speak English as their mother tongue, persons who are held in pre-trial detention and persons against whom an appeal must be lodged. Those who apply for legal aid must prove that they cannot afford to pay their own legal fees, otherwise it would be unfair to themselves or their families. [33] Legal aid in civil matters is granted to applicants who prove that they cannot bear their own legal costs and to applicants whose cases are considered to be the legal basis for the prosecution of cases. [34] The withdrawal of a defendant`s right to counsel or the refusal to choose a lawyer without a valid reason should result in the defendant`s conviction being quashed, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. United States v.

Gonzalez-Lopez, 548 U.S. 140 (2006). In Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157 (1986), the Supreme Court concluded that, in a criminal case, a lawyer has a duty not to allow the client to provide information about perjury. A lawyer`s ethical duty not to allow information about perjury replaces a zealous plea duty. The Supreme Court ruled that a Sixth Amendment defendant`s right is not violated if a lawyer refuses to cooperate with the defendant in presenting evidence of perjury in court. Our team of professional lawyers leverages our industry knowledge and expertise to help individuals and organizations protect their interests.

Our team of lawyers is intimately familiar with various aspects of local and international law and will work tirelessly to ensure that your personal and professional interests are protected. For more information, please contact a member of our legal team. An accused who cannot afford a lawyer has the right to appoint a defence lawyer appointed at the expense of the government. Although the Supreme Court has gradually recognized this right, it currently applies to all federal and state criminal proceedings where the defendant faces an acceptable prison sentence of more than one year (a “crime”) or where the defendant is actually imprisoned, including the imposition of a conditional sentence of any length. [42] Keep in mind that while the right to a lawyer is discussed here in the context of criminal proceedings, a suspect is entitled to a lawyer at almost every important stage of the criminal proceedings, usually from arrest to the first appeal after conviction. .