Tereza Papoušková
Author’s affiliation: Faculty of Law, Masaryk University Brno

Lawyers before the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic: Under what Circumstances They Go to It

Jurisprudence 1/2018 Section: Articles Page: 28-41

Keywords: The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, lawyers, lawyers‘ decision-making, client’s wish, gate-keeping, filtering mechanism, mandatory representation

Abstract: The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic influences what is being talked about. However, it can bring up only topics that appeared in proposals submitted to it. And as there is no proposal without a lawyer, those determining the particular topics may namely be lawyers and not their clients. Is it really so? And under what circumstances do lawyers discourage their clients from accessing the court and when they themselves are willing to go to it? Based on an analysis of questionnaires completed by 1,061 lawyers and on interviews conducted with eight of them, the author concludes that legal counsels do not act as gatekeepers and that their decision-making is significantly influenced by the prospect of success, the client's financial situation and the presence of conflict between previous decisions issued in the case. The normative discussion of these conclusions then results in the claim that lawyers should not always respect the client's wish and that they already have the legal possibilities not to do so.