The Role of the Advocate

Natalie Wortley, Alistair MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper discusses the procedure in s.4A(2)(b) of the Criminal Justice (Insanity) Act 1964 for appointing an advocate following a finding that a criminal defendant is unfit to plead. In R v Norman, the Court of Appeal emphasised that the judge should appoint “the right person for this difficult task”, such as “counsel experienced in mental health issues”, as the responsibility placed on the person appointed is “quite different” to that placed on an advocate who can take instructions from a client. The paper explores the conflict between the s.4A(2)(b) procedure and international human rights instruments, and highlights the confusion surrounding the professional and ethical duties of the court-appointed advocate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016
EventThe Future for Fitness to Plead in the Criminal Courts - Northumbria University
Duration: 29 Jun 2016 → …


OtherThe Future for Fitness to Plead in the Criminal Courts
Period29/06/16 → …


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