•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Most European and several countries elsewhere in the world have recognized a right to counsel in many or most civil cases for as long as decades or even centuries - and many of these countries are willing to spend, proportionately, anywhere from three to twelve times as much of their national income as the U.S. currently does on the provision of counsel to their lower income populations in civil cases. This Article examines how courts around the world have interpreted the constitutional provisions emanating from the theory that underpins the right to equality before the law and why these decisions are relevant to courts in the U.S. The Article then describes how nations that have the right as a matter of statutory or constitutional law have implemented it. This leads to discussion of a draft generic state statute that would apply some of the lessons learned from the foreign experience to the American context. Finally, the Article considers the likelihood that American jurisdictions will adopt the right and make the level of financial commitment that so many other nations already have made.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.