The culture of defense work has undergone significant change over the course of the last twenty years. These changes may have generated confusion and uncertainty concerning the role of the defense lawyer in the modern era. If the lawyer is confused as to his role, is it possible to zealously advance the best interests of his client? While the role of the defense has been explored through the culture of their law firms, the individualized role of the defense lawyer in the context of criminal procedure and their contribution to adversarial justice is something that has not been exposed to scrutiny. This book explores how lawyers view their own individual role in the context of the changed obligations introduced by the CPIA 1996 and the CrimPR, looking at the defense lawyer as part of a system, rather than as part of a relationship. Through a theoretical lens, Ed Johnston provides a wider perspective on the changing nature of criminal justice and the place of a key actor within it to draw conclusions regarding the role of the defense lawyer in the modern era.
Ed Johnston is a senior lecturer in Law at The Bristol Law School, University of the West of England.
Chapter 1: Theories of Criminal Justice
Chapter 2: The Genesis of Adversarialism
Chapter 3: A Departure from Adversarialism: A History of Disclosure and Case Management
Chapter 4: Theoretical Implications of the ‘New Regime’
Chapter 5: The Defence Lawyer in the Modern Era: Perceptions from Practice
Chapter 6: The ‘Efficient’ Criminal Justice System and the Dilution of Adversarialism
Places like the Old Bailey, while they certainly were the setting of many injustices, at least once looked like buildings in which one might aspire to justice; to something higher. Today the architecture of most modern courtrooms and courthouses offers a different message written unmistakably in design and details: these now are places in which government functionaries with dimmed vision work only to "process" people through an administrative course, dehumanizing efficiency their primary goal. The architecture befits the practice within. While the defence bar did not sponsor the changes in pretrial and trial practice that have demoted advocacy and deflated the spirit of liberty itself in favor or promoting efficiency of the machinery that conveys the poor from street to prison or jail, we have allowed ourselves to be coopted by the bureaucracy in its pursuit of this different goal. Sheathed in the numbing architecture of bureaucratic functionality, the entire system within now often looks as if designed by industrial engineers, not by lawyers with a hope of justice in mind and heart. Ed Johnston here raises a thoughtful voice to call us all to account for what we have surrendered or allowed to be stripped away, as a profession and as a people. The tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Human Touch is intended, for Ed Johnston has shone an humanitarian light on our loss.