Defendants' Rights & Criminal Defense
A tribe must:
- Protect the rights of defendants under the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (25 U.S.C. 1301-1304), which largely tracks the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, including the right to due process.
- Protect the rights of defendants described in the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, by providing:
- Effective assistance of counsel for defendants;
- Free, appointed, licensed attorneys for indigent defendants;
- Law-trained tribal judges who are also licensed to practice law;
- Publicly available tribal criminal laws and rules; and
- Recorded criminal proceedings.
- Include a fair cross-section of the community in jury pools and not systematically exclude non-Indians.
- Inform defendants ordered detained by a tribal court of their right to file federal habeas corpus petitions.
- Federal Resources for Tribal Criminal Defense & Juvenile Delinquency Representation
- NCJA Webinar, Defender Initiatives in Indian Country (June 11, 2013)
- DOJ Courts and Indigent Defense Resource Guide
- Bureau of Justice Assistance Overview of TCCLA Program
- Grant Information from the Access to Justice Initiative
- DOJ Funded Indigent Defense Publications
- Bureau of Justice Statistics: 2012 National Survey of Tribal Court Systems
- Bronx Defenders’ Center for Holistic Defense
- NIJ/ATJ Expert Working Group Report: International Perspectives on Indigent Defense
- GAO Report on Indigent Defense (2012)
- GAO Report, Tribal Law and Order Act: None of the Surveyed Tribes Reported Exercising the New Sentencing Authority, and the Department of Justice Could Clarify Tribal Eligibility for Certain Grant Funds GAO-12-658R, May 30, 2012
- OJJDP Newsletter - Innovative Approaches to Juvenile Indigent Defense
- Trial Advocacy Training for Tribal Court Judges, Prosecutors, and Defenders
- Access To Justice Initiative
The U.S. Department of Justice established the Access to Justice Initiative (ATJ) in March 2010 to address the access-to-justice crisis in the criminal and civil justice system. ATJ’s mission is to help the justice system efficiently deliver outcomes that are fair and accessible to all, irrespective of wealth and status. The Initiative’s staff works within the Department of Justice, across federal agencies, and with state, local, and tribal justice system stakeholders to increase access to counsel and legal assistance and to improve the justice delivery systems that serve people who are unable to afford lawyers.
- Brennan Center for Justice
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. The Center works to hold political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution — part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group, part communications hub — the Brennan Center seeks meaningful, measurable change in the systems by which our nation is governed.