The appellant faced a criminal trial. He was granted legal aid for two counsel. He asked for two particular junior counsel, but the certificate required him to instruct leading counsel and a junior. He objected that this deprived him of the right to his chosen counsel.
Held: The appeal failed. The purpose of a defendant’s right to choose counsel was in the contribution that right made to the achievement of a fair trial but it was not an autonomous right which fell outside that context. Article 6 did not give the accused a right to demand to have counsel of his choice at public expense, independently of the requirements of the interests of justice.
Lord Justice General said:
Article 6 does not invest an accused person with the right to demand that he have counsel of his choice at public expense, independently of the requirements of the interests of justice. If it can be shown that the interests of justice will best be served by having a requirement that, where a certificate for two counsel is issued, it will, in general, be better for an accused to be represented by both senior and junior counsel, a requirement that this be so cannot give rise to any violation of article 6. That the interests of justice will be best served in this way is beyond serious dispute, in my opinion. Senior counsel obtain that rank on the basis of an objective assessment of their professional expertise and experience. Rule 20.11 does no more than give effect to the desirability that defendants be represented at the highest possible standard, just as rule 4(3) of the 2012 Rules does.
Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones JJSC
 WLR(D) 180,  UKSC 17,  3 All ER 30,  1 WLR 1412,  NI 102, 44 BHRC 307, UKSC 2015/0134
Bailii, SC, SC Summary, SC Video Summary, SC 171019 am Video, SC 171019 pm video, WLRD, Bailii Summary
Human Rights Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights 6.2(c)
Appeal From ( – A, Re Judicial Review QBNI 19-Jan-2015
The applicant, defendant in a proposed trial, objected that having been granted a legal aid order for two counsel, he had been unable to instruct the two junior counsel of his choice, but had rather been required to instruct leading counsel. . .
Cited – X v Norway ECHR 30-May-1975
Article 6, paragraph 3, fitt . c) of the Convention : First instance proceedings. This provision guarantees that proceedings against the accused will nor take place without adequate representation for the defence, but does not give the accused the . .
Cited – Attorney General’s Reference No. 3 of 1999 HL 14-Dec-2000
An horrific rape had taken place. The defendant was arrested on a separate matter, tried and acquitted. He was tried under a false ID. His DNA sample should have been destroyed but wasn’t. Had his identity been known, his DNA could have been kept . .
Cited – Correia De Matos v Portugal ECHR 15-Nov-2001
The applicant had been committed for trial in Portugal for insulting a judge. The judge investigating that charge assigned a lawyer to represent him. Mr de Matos objected. He wanted to represent himself. He relied on article 6.3(c) of the . .
Cited – Croissant v Germany ECHR 25-Sep-1992
Hudoc No violation of Art. 6-1; No violation of Art. 6-3-c
‘[I]t is for the courts to decide whether the interests of justice require that the accused be defended by counsel appointed by them. When . .
Cited – K v Denmark ECHR 5-May-1993
A lawyer, Mr Reindel, was appointed by the High Court to act as defence counsel for the applicant. It was then discovered that Mr Reindel was to be called as a witness and his appointment was rescinded and another lawyer was appointed in his stead. . .
Cited – Mayzit v Russia ECHR 20-Jan-2005
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – Violation of Art. 3; Violation of Art. 5-4; No violation of Art. 6-3-c; No violation of Art. 6-3-b; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award.
The applicant wished . .
Cited – Dzankovic v Germany ECHR 8-Dec-2009
The applicant complained that his request for his chosen representative to be designated official defence counsel had been refused.
Held: The interests of justice did not require that the applicant’s chosen counsel be appointed official . .
Cited – Dvorski v Croatia ECHR 20-Oct-2015
Grand Chamber: ‘As the Court has already held in its previous judgments, the right set out in article 6.3(c) of the Convention is one element, among others, of the concept of a fair trial in criminal proceedings contained in article 6.1 (see . .
Cited – Addison v HM Advocate HCJ 8-Oct-2014
Appeal against conviction for murder: ‘on two grounds, namely; (1) that he suffered a miscarriage of justice as a result of defective representation; and (2) that while awaiting trial he was deprived of the opportunity to instruct senior counsel of . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 April 2021; Ref: scu.608732