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Legal Aid Review

An independent review sets out a 10 year vision and makes 67 recommendations to ensure Scotland’s legal aid system is simpler, user focussed and more flexible – as well as sustainable and cost-effective.

The review, chaired by Carnegie Trust Chief Executive Martyn Evans, supported by an expert advisory group, highlighted that Scotland’s legal aid spend per head is among the highest in the European Union and has both the widest scope (what you can obtain legal aid for) and eligibility (who can receive assistance).

Rethinking Legal Aid, An Independent Strategic Review

Downloadable document:

Title:Legal Aid Review
Description:An independent strategic review of legal aid in Scotland. (open)
File:Rethinking Legal Aid, An Independent Strategic Review [PDF, 3150.4 kb: 09 Mar 2018]
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This report sets out a ten-year timeframe to allow for short term impact as well as more ambitious, strategic improvements that will deliver a better public service for the people of Scotland.

Recommendations include:

•           Putting the user at the centre including creating a consumer panel

•           Maintaining the current scope of the legal aid fund but simplifying the process

•           Investing in service improvement, innovation and technology

•           Developing a new system for setting fees paid to solicitors conducting legal aid work

•           Establishing a new arm’s length body responsible for delivery of publicly-funded legal assistance and increasing   public awareness of its availability

A formal Scottish Government response to the report will be published in due course.