Rules of Conduct for Criminal Defence Lawyers: A Deontological Approach to Defence Rights

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisThesis 1: fully internal

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Cross-border crime is ever increasing, so that more intensive cooperation between police and judicial authorities of the EU Member States is necessary in order to effectively combat such crime. This also means that criminal defence lawyers will be more and more involved in cross-border defences. Consequently, it is to be expected that criminal defence lawyers will also increasingly cooperate with their peers in other EU Member States. In that regard it is important for criminal defence lawyers to be knowledgeable not only about the criminal procedural regulations of other Member States, but also about the deontological regulations that govern their peers in other Member States.
This research aims to provide an overview of the deontological regulations relevant for the conduct of criminal defence lawyers across the EU and to determine whether these relevant regulations contribute to an effective defence. To this end, an EU-wide inventory has been made of all rules of conduct that are relevant to criminal defence lawyers who assist suspects in criminal proceedings. Subsequently, it was researched whether and to what extent these rules contribute to an effective defence by comparing these rules with a normative framework of minimum procedural and deontological safeguards for an effective defence.
On the basis of this research, 15 essential components for an EU system of regulations governing the conduct of criminal defence lawyers could be defined. These components actually clarify the contours of the four roles that criminal defence lawyers fulfil when assisting suspects and accused in criminal proceedings: legal representative, strategic adviser, trusted counsellor and spokesperson. Moreover, these components can serve as a catalyst for future debate, by challenging criminal lawyers, academics and (both national and European) legislators to reconsider the existing role and position of the actors in criminal procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Sluiter, Göran, Supervisor
  • Brinkhoff, Sven, Co-supervisor
Award date16 Oct 2020
Place of PublicationHeerlen
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020


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