Limiting the Rights of Attorneys and Denying the Right to Counsel


Limiting the Rights of Attorneys and

Denying the Right to Counsel

By Eric Brodin, Professor


Eric Brodin is Professor Emeritus from Campbell University. He currently holds the position of president of the Foundation for International Studies, a charitable organization in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

"Limiting the Rights of Attorneys and Denying the Right to Counsel" was previously published in Eric Brodin's booklet "Lawless Sweden". Prof. Brodin has kindly consented to the present publication of this extract from Chapter 4 of his booklet.



Lawless Sweden - Chapter 4

According to a law dated July 1, 1982, a court or a judge can even deny an accused person the right to choose an attorney. The judge has that authority, if the judge deems there is any prior relationship, however tenuous, between the accused and the attorney. The relationship may be as vague as the accused and the attorney belonging to the same club or having a distant family connection. If an attorney has previously represented that particular defendant, the judge can also claim that as a basis for ineligibility.

A judge also has the authority to determine legal fees; in effect, the judge determines how much an attorney can charge a client. If the judge considers the attorney to be cooperative and friendly, the attorney may be allowed a higher fee; but if the attorney is considered to be "troublesome" or a habitual defender of unpopular clients, the judge may allow only minimal compensation.




Eric Brodin has fully understood the arbitrary power that the legislator grants to the judges. However, it seems that he was not yet completely conscious of the consequences of the law of 1982. In Sweden today, there are lawyers who are prohibited to practise their profession. The lawyers who are prohibited to practise their profession are especially those which demand the respect of the Human Rights guaranteed by the International Conventions signed and ratified by the Swedish government, and who make complaints to the

European Court
because of the many violations of the Human Rights in Sweden.


The prohibition for a lawyer to practise his/her profession is done of the following way: the Court decides that the defendant is entitled to an attorney remunerated by the State. The decision of the Court informs the defendant that the lawyer of his/her choice is not suitable and that he/she cannot claim the right to a public aid attorney if he/she insists to be represented by the lawyer in question. The refusal of the Court to appoint the lawyer chosen by the defendant constitutes a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention.


The lawyer can not appeal against the decision of the Court. Only the defendant can appeal against this decision. However, his/her appeal will not be successful since the Court of Appeal never changes such a decision delivered by a lower court.


This "discrete" prohibition constitutes also a violation of Article 6 of European Convention, according to the practice of the

European Court
, but up to now the
European Court
has not declared the complaints made by the attorneys admissible.


Ruby Harrold-Claesson


President of the NCHR







The Defence Counsel: The weakest link of the Legal system in Sweden

Lawless Sweden

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