Defence Counsel And For The Prosecution

962 Words Oct 24th, 2015 4 Pages
A topic of conversation that always comes up when I mention that I’m doing a placement with a criminal barrister, one who works as both defence counsel and for the prosecution, is the idea of representing a client who is ‘guilty’. I’m asked “but what if you know that they did it?” and “wouldn’t you feel bad if they got off?” Ysaiah Ross considered the ‘moral lawyer’ in his paper, and discussed Wasserstrom’s ‘role-differentiated behaviour’. This included that the role of the lawyer requires ignorance of moral considerations as a result. Ross commented on a comic of a rocket scientist saying that it was his job to get the rockets up, and that where they come down is ‘not [his] department’. He also remarked that the Director of Extermination in Auschwitz stated that he didn’t murder anybody; he was just the Director of Extermination. Similarly, a consideration of ‘guilt’ is counterproductive as defence counsel.

Wasserstrom’s argument is that the amoral approach should be available only for criminal defence counsel, and while Ross states that it is not intrinsically good to try to win every lawsuit, people must be able to have access to the public good that is law. It is unethical and against practice guidelines to represent someone inadequately. That client could appeal the decision on the grounds that they weren’t provided with adequate representation, and the lawyer could be struck off the role of practitioners.

It is already intimidating for a client to meet a lawyer and…
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