Right To Counsel For Detained Migrants In Selected Jurisdictions
| Author: Library Of Congress |
Date Published: 3:42:49 PM Thursday, 9-July-2020
This report provides information on the laws of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the United Kingdom regarding the right to counsel for detained migrants. All countries included in the study allow detained migrants to be assisted by a lawyer. In Canada and Israel the authorities are required to inform detained migrants about their right to legal representation, and in France, Germany, and Sweden the right to counsel is considered a constitutional principle. In most of the countries, it is up to the migrant or asylum seeker to hire counsel; the government does not have an obligation to provide legal services to a person who entered the country without a valid visa or is subject to deportation. The United Kingdom appears to be the only country where legal counsel is provided by the government’s legal aid agency free of charge to all migrants in detention. Financial assistance may be requested by those migrants who cannot afford a lawyer at their own expense in France. In some countries, the provision of government-paid legal assistance depends on the specific circumstances. In Sweden, the government has an obligation to provide legal assistance to minors, and to some other migrants because of their needs. In Germany, a legal representative may be appointed by the court if the court deems it necessary. No country was found where the law would prevent a migrant from receiving assistance from volunteer lawyers or legal aid organizations funded by other than national budget sources. The details of each country’s governing laws are provided below, in alphabetical order.