Should there be Quality Standards for Criminal Lawyers?

Currently in NSW, a fresh law graduate with no in-court experience can call themselves a criminal lawyer and represent clients in court for even the most serious cases.

Equally, a legal aid lawyer may deal with 30 or more cases on any one day and meet a client for just a couple of minutes (or not at all) before dealing with his or her case in court.

Needless to say, the quality of such representation is often low and the results can be poor.

Because of something called ‘advocate’s immunity’, it is very hard to sue criminal lawyers for their performances in court.

The unfortunate client can therefore be left with a bad result, and will often have to then seek representation by an experienced criminal lawyer to fix the situation by appealing the result to a higher court.

This raises the question of whether criminal lawyers should have certain quality standards.

More specifically, should criminal lawyers have a certain level of experience before representing clients in important matters such as bail applications (which are applications to get a person out of custody), defended hearings or even guilty pleas for serious charges?

Also, should criminal lawyers be limited in the number of cases they can deal with on any one day?

It is suggested that such rules would raise the quality of representation by criminal lawyers and thereby produce better results for clients.

It would also likely decrease criticism of criminal lawyers and thereby benefit the profession as a whole.

Specific quality standards might include rules such as: a lawyer must have at least 2 years of criminal law experience before dealing with an ‘indictable offence’ to ‘finality’.

An ‘indictable offence’ is a serious criminal offence that can be dealt with in the Higher Courts. Dealing with a matter ‘to finality’ means undertaking a ‘sentencing’ (for a guilty plea) or a ‘defended hearing’ (for a not guilty plea); in other words, representing a client on an ‘important court date’ rather than just an adjournment.

Another rule might be that a criminal lawyer cannot deal with more than 5 cases on any one day.

There are currently many ‘factory-type lawyers’ who deal with 10 or more cases on any one day, with a consequential decrease in the quality standard afforded to each client.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers certainly goes well beyond these ‘quality standards’.

We Guarantee that you will be represented by an ‘Accredited Criminal Law Specialist’ on all important court dates; including all dates where your matter is to be dealt with to ‘finality’.

An ‘Accredited Criminal Law Specialist’ is a lawyer with at least 5 years of experience in criminal law and who is certified by the Law Society of NSW as an expert in the field.

We also Guarantee you will be represented by an Accredited Criminal Lawyer for bail applications and all appeals.

Each of our criminal lawyers strives to deal with a very limited number of matters per day; usually only 1 case per day and never more than 3 cases per day.

This is one of the ways our law firm consistently produces exceptional results for our clients.

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About Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Specialist Criminal Lawyer and Principal at Sydney Criminal Lawyers, Sydney's leading firm of criminal and traffic defence lawyers.
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