The Culture of Criminal Defence

Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges and Anita Pavlovic

in Standing Accused

Published in print February 1994 | ISBN: 9780198258681
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681851 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

The Culture of Criminal Defence

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This chapter describes the culture of criminal defenders. It also reports a main observational study with in-depth interviews with a sample of forty-four trainee solicitors undertaking their articles. Not all those interviewed had or even intended to do training in criminal work, let alone to move on to a career in this field, but an attempt was made with those who were doing criminal training to interview them both before and after this part of their articles, in order to gauge how their attitudes may have changed in the process. Of those undertaking criminal training, one-third was interviewed before and after this part of their articles. All the interviewees had studied criminal law as part of their earlier education, whether as undergraduate law students or on ‘conversion courses’ from other degrees, or in their studies for professional qualifications. While this survey cannot be regarded as definitive, it provides significant insights into the training of lawyers and its relationship to legal culture. In many respects, it is not surprising that articled clerks should come out of their period of in-service training with an image of criminal justice as being ‘cobbled together’.

Keywords: criminal defence; legal culture; criminal defenders; trainee solicitors; criminal training; criminal justice; defence lawyers

Chapter.  13643 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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