European Court of Human Rights - case of Daud v. Portugal (1998) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Daud v. Portugal (1998) (excerpts)

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38.  The Court reiterates that the Convention is designed to “guarantee not rights that are theoretical or illusory but rights that are practical and effective, and that assigning counsel does not in itself ensure the effectiveness of the assistance he may afford an accused” (see the Imbrioscia v. Switzerland judgment of 24 November 1993, Series A no. 275, p. 13, § 38). “Nevertheless, a State cannot be held responsible for every shortcoming on the part of a lawyer appointed for legal aid purposes... It follows from the independence of the legal profession from the State that the conduct of the defence is essentially a matter between the defendant and his counsel, whether counsel be appointed under a legal aid scheme or be privately financed... [T]he competent national authorities are required under Article 6 § 3 (c) to intervene only if a failure by legal aid counsel to provide effective representation is manifest or sufficiently brought to their attention in some other way” (Kamasinski v. Austria judgment of 19 December 1989, Series A no. 168, p. 33, § 65).