News / General

SLAB Annual Report

By SLAS Spokesperson

Some bullet points from the Annual Report for 2006-2007 issued by the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

· The number of legal assistance grants fell by 1% to 408,654 although spending on legal aid increased by 2% to £140.2m.

· Payments to solicitors fell by 1% to £122m.

· The number of civil legal aid and criminal legal aid grants increased

· A new public defence solicitors office was opened in Kirkwall in March 2007 and 3 more are to be opened during 2007/2008 in other parts of Scotland.

· The number of solicitors firms actively providing civil legal assistance continues to decline as does the number of applications for civil Legal Aid and civil Advice & Assistance.

· The immediately main projects are: reform of summary criminal Legal Assistance – Transfer from the courts to the Board the power to grant Solemn Criminal Legal Aid – introduction of quality assurance for Criminal Legal Aid Assistance practitioners – Reform of feeing arrangements for solemn cases – delivery of project to simplify civil legal assistance – reform of civil Advice & Assistance – expansion of Legal Aid online – Introduction of Advice & Assistance provided by advisors other than lawyers.

· The Board is working with the Scottish Executive on the commencement provisions of the legal profession and the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 - which will increase access to justice.

· The number of cases of fraud and abuse of legal aid referred for possible prosecution increased substantially.

· Staff costs increased from the previous year from £8,443,000 to £9,122,000 or, approximately, 9% and operating costs increased from £3,816,000 to £4,083,000 or, approximately, 7%.

The full annual report is available on the board’s website at and member’s are invited to suggest any other key points which should be added to the above bullet points.


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