All data is current as of 2013, unless otherwise noted.
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How the right to counsel is administered and structured

State commission: yes – limited authority
Branch of government: executive

The Georgia Public Defender Council (GPDC) is a fifteen-member commission within the executive branch. The executive branch of government has the majority of appointments to GPDC, but there is also an eight-member legislative oversight committee that reviews the council’s work.

The council appoints circuit public defenders to oversee trial-level indigent defense services in 49 of the state’s judicial circuits, but counties can opt out of the system, meaning the state has no regulatory authority over those regions. Because of this, GPDC is defined as having limited authority.

GDPC also oversees a central office that provides training, capital support services, appellate representation, and mental health advocacy. GPDC has limited authority to enforce the standards it promulgates.


How the right to counsel is funded

Percentage of state funding: 37%
Percentage of local funding: 63%
Percentage of alternative funding: 0%

The methods used to provide public counsel


Legal authority

Georgia Constitution, art. 1, § 1, ¶ XIV

Georgia Code, §§ 17-12-1 through 17-12-128

Source of data: original research conducted by Sixth Amendment Center staff, augmented by the American Bar Association, State, County and Local Expenditures for Indigent Defense Services: Fiscal Year 2008, November 2010.