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Can – and should – lawyers be considered ‘appropriate’ appropriate adults?

Dehaghani, Roxanna ORCID: and Newman, Daniel ORCID: 2019. Can – and should – lawyers be considered ‘appropriate’ appropriate adults? Howard Journal of Crime and Justice 58 (1) , pp. 3-24. 10.1111/hojo.12288

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This paper furthers the debate on vulnerable suspects by bringing together research on appropriate adults and criminal defence lawyers. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 forbids all lawyers from acting as appropriate adults. The courts, in very limited case law, have taken a different approach, leaving a space in which lawyers might be considered suitable to fill the gap left by an appropriate adult’s absence. This account is supported by exploring the views of custody officers on the appropriate adult and its use, drawing upon empirical data. Fieldwork with defence lawyers is then explored to highlight how lawyers might have some of the suitable characteristics of the appropriate adult but could not realistically perform such duties in practice (or conceptually). This paper illustrates that lawyers are ill-equipped to deal with a client’s vulnerability and therefore argues that they should never be viewed as an ‘appropriate adult replacement’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 2059-1101
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 3 August 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 00:25

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