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Title: The zealous advocate in the 21st century : concepts and conflicts for the criminal defence lawyer
Author: Smith, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 3941
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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The criminal defence lawyer is perhaps the most publicly identifiable and controversial figure in the criminal justice system, and is considered by many to represent the cornerstone of adversarial criminal justice. However, there is significant evidence that the context within which criminal defence lawyers operate in England and Wales is rapidly, and fundamentally, changing. Using a wide range of theoretical literature and commentary, the thesis begins by exploring theoretical constructions of the defence lawyer's role, and proceeds to an assessment of whether the traditional, theoretical, conception of the role remains relevant and useful in the context of the 21st century. It continues with an extensive exploration of modern, formal, regulation governing criminal defence lawyers in England and Wales, including relevant legislation, case law and professional conduct rules. The thesis aims to explore ethical conflicts in criminal defence work by identifying and analysing tensions between the various obligations owed by the defence lawyer. All of these issues are explored in the context of ‘real-life’ criminal defence practice through an empirical study, using the novel ‘vignette technique’ to simulate ethical conflicts that defence lawyers might face. Having explored theoretical, formal and practical conceptions of the defence role, the thesis draws conclusions about the usefulness and relevance of theory to the modern role, whether that theory is reflected both in formal regulation and in practice, and whether ethical conflicts pose a significant barrier to the functioning of the defence lawyer's role. Finally, using the research data, the thesis raises questions about the continuing validity of adversarial conceptions of criminal procedure in England and Wales, and makes proposals concerning the future of theoretical debate relating to the role of the criminal defence lawyer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Centre for Legal Research, UWE
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: law ; advocate ; criminal defence lawyer