The Utah Indigent Defense Commission (IDC) has adopted the following minimum guidelines for indigent defense systems and appointed attorneys. These guidelines have dual purposes:
- to inform local governments about how to ensure their local defense providers are able to provide effective assistance in all cases; and
- to encourage appointed attorneys to achieve a high standard of representation in every case to enhance professionalism in the representation of indigent individuals in the state.
Adopted by the IDC in August 2017, these are the core principles for the provision of indigent defense representation in the State of Utah. These principles encompass the provision of indigent defense services in three defined areas of practice—criminal defense, delinquency defense, and parental defense.
The purpose of these principles is threefold:
- to give guidance to government officials, policymakers, and other entities who are charged with providing, overseeing, assessing, and/or funding indigent defense systems;
- to provide a yardstick for measuring the extent to which an indigent defense system ensures that individual attorneys within that system have the knowledge, ability, resources, and independence necessary to provide effective representation; and
- to encourage appointed counsel to perform to a high standard of representation and promote professionalism in the representation of indigent individuals in Utah.
The IDC promulgated the Core Principles for Appointed Attorneys Representing Youth in Delinquency Proceedings in February 2018 to provide advisory guidance to indigent defense systems, delinquency defense attorneys, and other juvenile court stakeholders.
The IDC adopted the Core Principles for Appointed Attorneys Representing Indigent Parents or Legal Guardians in Child Welfare Proceedings in February 2018 to provide advisory guidance to indigent defense systems, parent attorneys, and other juvenile court stakeholders.