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Today in legal history...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

India Supreme Court found constitutional right to counsel
Garrett Eisenhour at 12:00 AM ET

On February 28, 2011, the Supreme Court of India ruled that under the Indian Constitution [PDF] criminal defendants have a right to counsel and should have a lawyer appointed to them when they cannot obtain legal representation. The decision cited US Supreme Court cases, including Gideon v. Wainwright, as well as the Nuremberg trials to support the concept that the right to counsel is a principle applied in other nations and proceedings. The court's decision came at a time when both European and US decisions were grappling with the issue of a right to counsel in the context of terrorism. The most recent US Supreme Court case that dealt with the issue of counsel, Turner v. Rogers, held that indigent defendants do not have a constitutional right to counsel in civil contempt cases that might result in imprisonment.

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Learn more about the Indian constitution and the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution from the JURIST news archive.

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