Access and contact with lawyer

Questions for monitors

Are detainees who arrive in prison informed of their right to access a lawyer and process for going about this?

Are detainees given the opportunity to contact a lawyer free of charge if they do not have one?

If detainees do not have or know a lawyer, are they appointed one by the authorities?

Are detainees who do not have the means to pay for a lawyer appointed one free of charge?

Where legal representation is provided/appointed by the authorities, is it of sufficient quality and independence? Did the lawyer visit the detainee in prison to meet with them?

Are there adequate facilities and opportunities for detainees to meet with their lawyer out of hearing of prison staff, without delays or unjustified time limits?

Are detainees able to communicate freely and confidentially with a lawyer?

Are there exceptions to the right to confidentially consult communicate and meet with a lawyer? Are these specified in laws or regulations with proper safeguards?


Are detainees able to access a lawyer that speaks their language? If not, are interpretation services available?


Do persons with disabilities have the same possibility of accessing a lawyer as other detainees?


Do children have effective access to a lawyer?


Do prison authorities ensure that the right to access a lawyer is clearly explained to children and their guardians?


Are lawyers representing children experienced in communicating with and advising children, including those in detention?


Is legal aid provided to children age-appropriate, multi-disciplinary (coordinated with other children’s services) and responsive to their specific legal and social needs?

Do convicted detainees have access to a lawyer if they request/need? Are there lawyers available with expertise in proceedings relating to situations in prisons?