Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Thomas Horton

Second Advisor

Dr. Zoli Filotas

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Braunstein


Indigent Legal Representation, United States, European Union, Public Defender, Legal Aid


Criminal justice systems across the globe are faced with multifaceted monetary limitations. The European Union and United States have similar overarching provisions ensuring that indigent defendants are guaranteed the right to counsel in legal proceedings with the possibility of infringing on their liberties. On the whole, they leave the decisions pertaining to each jurisdictions’ system up to the individual governments. This practice allows for differing systems, quality, and problems. The differences between the individual countries in the EU and in the states in America are not as vast as initially believed; therefore, the problems pertaining to indigent representation affect more than just the poor minorities in the United States. The European Union’s Legal Aid systems fail to have the complex legal framework that the United States Public Defender Systems seem to have; however, the problems in the United States persist nevertheless due to structural issues and extreme lack of consideration for funding services for the poor.



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