Barristers in England and attorneys in the United States have been upbraided for pursuing their interests to their clients' detriment in recommending guilty pleas over trials. While this accusation against American attorneys could be true since their incentives are sometimes skewed to favor guilty pleas, it is not accurate with respect to barristers in England. This is because the latter’s selfish incentives--to maximize income and avoid sanction--incline them to prefer trials over guilty pleas. In Melbourne and Sydney, barristers have never been similarly accused. Indeed, the topic has not been studied. Based on interviews with legal professionals in those cities, this article concludes that, as in England, barristers' incentives lead them to prefer trials. Thus, when barristers in Melbourne or Sydney recommend a guilty plea, they are arguably thinking of the defendant's interest rather than their own.
32 Melb. U. L. Rev. 242-274 (2008)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Tague, Peter W., "Guilty Pleas or Trials: Which Does the Barrister Prefer?" (2008). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 830.