Animal issues in the lawAnimal issues in the law

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Animal issues in the law

For animal lovers in can be frustrating to see how some animal cases are decided under the law. Animal protection, like many areas of the law, is constantly evolving particularly as our understanding of animal intelligence, capacity and emotional range continues to grow and develop. This blog is a collection of case law and interesting articles from Australia and abroad, showing broad trends in animal law. By sharing and learning from this information we can continue to develop passionate arguments to help further our cases and reinforce our deep feeling for animals with concrete support details. I hope you find it useful.


Duties of Criminal Lawyers

Australian criminal defence lawyers have a variety of legal duties. Generally, they are required to keep communications between them and their clients confidential. Such lawyers must also avoid conflict of interest, which basically means they cannot represent several parties in the same criminal matter. Understanding the duties of criminal lawyers can help you know what to expect from them. 

Privileged communications

Generally, criminal lawyers must maintain privacy, or privilege, regarding attorney-client communications. Although privilege allows clients to speak to their attorneys safely without fears of reprisals, there are some cases where there are exceptions. Normally, attorneys may break privilege to prevent bodily injuries or deaths or pursuant to court orders. Clients also have the right to waive privilege. Lastly, the death of a client means attorney-client communications have lost privileged status. 

Zealous presentation

A criminal defence lawyer has a duty to represent their client zealously by taking all steps (within reason) to prepare a viable defence. The attorney must subpoena documents, review police reports, interview witnesses, gather facts and research statutes and precedents. Lawyers may also ask a court to consider novel or new interpretations of current law in a bid to maintain their client's interests. Attorneys need to be ready to prepare compelling arguments for judges and examine witnesses at trial. 

Interests or conflicts

It is the duty of criminal lawyers to avoid any conflicts of interest when they represent their clients. For instance, if a number of accountants are facing criminal fraud charges, their defence attorneys may decide to shift blame to one another. Lawyers are not allowed to incriminate one client so as to help another. They must also make sure that previous clients are not the cause of conflicts in current cases. For example, a lawyer may fail to adequately attack a witness if the two had a previous attorney-client relationship. 

Honesty to courts

Like all lawyers, a criminal defence attorney is a court officer and owes a duty of candour to judges and juries. A lawyer may therefore not knowingly make in court representations that are false. An attorney is required to be as honest as possible when they are communicating with courts. Lawyers are not allowed to support clients with the intent of committing perjury. In case they deal with clients who plan to commit perjury, they must take steps that will reasonably remedy the intention of their clients. This may include braking attorney-client privilege lawfully to report perjury.