The article deals with some problems of enjoyment of the rights to legal assistance in criminal proceedings in the light of European standards. It is noticed that international, particularly European, human rights standards do not regulate imperatively who can be the legal defender or representative in a court, what is the scope of his/her procedural powers, and at what stage of the proceedings the person should be allowed to benefit from legal assistance. Attention is drawn to the lack of consistency of the Ukrainian authorities in regulation of various aspects of the right to legal assistance. In the light of the right to legal counsel the author examine the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in such cases as «Imbrioscia v. Switzerland», «Artico v. Italy», «Airey v. Ireland», «Pakelli v. Germany», «Shabelnik v. Ukraine», «Zagorodniy v. Ukraine», «Pishchalnikov v. Russia», «Salduz v. Turkey», «Yoldaş v. Turkey», «Dayanan v. Turkey». Such elements of the right to legal assistance as the right to choose counsel and to waive him/her are considered in the article. On the basis of the European Court of Human Rights practice some particular properties of the waiver of legal assistance are established: voluntariness, unambiguousness, awareness and reasonableness.
Keywords: the right to legal assistance, the right to defence, the right to choose counsel, the right to waive counsel, the European Court of Human Rights