In August 2017, the Utah Indigent Defense Commission (IDC) adopted the Core System Principles for the provision of constitutionally adequate 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 the Core System Principles is threefold:
- Give guidance to government officials, policymakers, and other entities who are charged with providing, overseeing, assessing, and/or funding indigent defense systems.
- 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.
- Encourage appointed counsel to perform to a high standard of representation and promote professionalism in the representation of indigent individuals in Utah.
However, specific guidance for attorneys representing youth in delinquency proceedings and parents or legal guardians in child welfare proceedings is also provided in separate principles:
- The Core Principles for Appointed Attorneys Representing Youth in Delinquency Proceedings were promulgated by the IDC in February 2018 to provide advisory guidelines to indigent defense systems, delinquency defense attorneys, and other juvenile court stakeholders.
- The Core Principles for Appointed Attorneys Representing Indigent Parents in Child Welfare Proceedings were adopted by the IDC in February 2018 to provide advisory guidance to indigent defense systems, parent attorneys, and other juvenile court stakeholders.