Criminal defence at the investigative stage has attracted growing attention due to the shifting focus of the criminal process onto pre-trial stages, and the recent European regulations adopted in this area. Increasingly, justice practitioners and legislators across the EU have begun to realise that ‘the trial takes place at the police station’. This book provides a comprehensive legal, empirical and contextual analysis of criminal defence at the investigative stage from a comparative perspective. It is a socio-legal study of criminal defence practice, which draws upon original empirical material from England and Wales and the Netherlands. Based on extensive interviews with lawyers, and extended periods of observation, the book contrasts the encountered reality of criminal defence with the model role of a lawyer at the investigative stage derived from European norms. It places the practice of criminal defence within the broader context of procedural traditions, contemporary criminal justice policies and lawyers’ occupational cultures. Criminal Defence at Police Stations questions the determinative role of procedural traditions in shaping criminal defence practice at the investigative stage.

The book will be of interest for criminal law and justice practitioners, as well as for academics focusing on criminal justice, criminology, socio-legal studies, legal psychology and human rights.

chapter 1|8 pages


chapter 2|26 pages

The role of a defence lawyer at the investigative stage

The view from Europe

chapter 3|28 pages

The Netherlands

Lawyer as ‘trusted person’ and provider of information

chapter 4|30 pages

England and Wales

Lawyer as advisor and provider of ‘active defence’

chapter 5|25 pages

The influence of legal procedural traditions

Observations from the field

chapter 8|11 pages

Concluding remarks

chapter |9 pages


Notes on the research methodology