Are All People Entitled Equal Protection Before the Law? − Right to Counsel for Rich and Poor Defendants at Criminal Cases
|關鍵字:||法扶;訴訟權;legal aid;right to counsel|
There are three resources of the criminal defense systems in Taiwan: public defenders, pro bono legal counsels from the bar association assigned by the judge and the attorneys of Legal Aid Foundation (LAF). My research focuses on the LAF in Taiwan to see the performance differences between the cases defended by the attorney of LAF and the attorney hired by the defendant itself. It has been the most significant research issue that relates to the right to counsel of people over the decade. In order to fulfill the ideal of “ All are equal before the law”, LAF provides a legal service to the indigent people who cannot afford the litigation expenses and attorney fees. However, if the LAF cannot monitor the quality of legal aid services, it cannot assure the rights to counsel of the defendants are protected under the law. The thesis aims at the criminal cases based on the criminal procedure in Taiwan. The author will introduce the content of the right to counsel under the reformed adversary system, and elaborate the development of the right to counsel by the Constitution, the J.Y. Interpretation and cases. Besides, the regulation of the LAF and the development process since it has founded will be introduced. Then the difficulties the LAF encounters in the recent years will be discussed. The LAF legislates the Legal Aid Law by using many foreign legal aid regulations as references. For example, according to the duty solicitor in England, the LAF provides the program to assist the defendant at the first interrogation during investigation. Besides, the LAF has held many international conferences to broaden their understanding about the regulation of the legal aid system in many foreign countries. Two foreign legal aid systems will be introduced, which we can take as references to improve the legal aid system in Taiwan as well. The empirical research comprises the quantitative analysis and the interview with many professionals in this field. In the first part of the empirical research, the rate of dismissal of the Superior Court cases and the Supreme Court cases will be proposed respectively, and the differences between the rate of dismissal of cases defended by the legal aid attorneys and common attorneys will be discussed. Besides, the research will perform statistic analysis to indicate the relevance between where the attorney belongs to and the result of judgment. In the second part, the opinion of the interviewers (including judges, prosecutors, attorneys and the staff of the Legal Aid Foundation) will be presented; they will illustrate their specific points from their own professional experiences and weigh the pros and cons of the regulation. To sum up, we hope the results of this thesis can make some significant influence to get the legal aid system improved to ensure that defendants can get effective assistance from the LAF to fulfill the ideal of “ All people are equal before the law”.
|Appears in Collections:||Thesis|