Criminal Justice Research Centre
   
   
  

The Right to Legal Assistance in Police Interviews

John Jackson was a keynote speaker at a conference on the Right to Legal Assistance in Police Interviews held in the President's Hall, Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place in Dublin on 22 September and organised by Vicky Conway and Yvonne Daly of the Socio-Legal Research Centre, Dublin City University. Ireland has only recently permitted solicitors to attend suspect interviews in Garda (police) stations. Over 160 delegates, many of whom were police officers and solicitors, gathered to hear 17 speakers consider the right to legal assistance from different perspectives, jurisdictions and sectors.

John began by setting scene for the conference by considering how the police interview has changed over the years and how both Irish and European jurisprudence have gradually developed the suspect's right of access to a lawyer, drawing upon his recent article in the Modern Law Review.

Other speakers included Jodie Blackstock, Legal Director of Justice, who spoke about the role of the solicitor in the police interview and Ed Cape (University of the West of England) on how training developed for solicitors in England and Wales. The conference also heard about a new training programme (SUPRALAT) which has been developed and piloted for use throughout Europe to develop lawyers' confidence and skills in attending police interviews and about how these changes are being mirrored in Ireland by reforms in an Garda Síochána where a new approach, the Garda Síochána Interview Model, is being rolled out.

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Posted on Thursday 5th October 2017

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