What we do
The Scottish Legal Aid Board was set up in 1987 to manage legal aid in Scotland. We are a non-departmental public body responsible to the Scottish Government.
For more information go to Our work.
Purpose of legal aid
The purpose of legal aid in Scotland is to provide access to justice for those people who are unable to pay for it on their own.
By providing people with access to assistance and representation at difficult times in their lives, we contribute to the Scottish Government’s Purpose to deliver a more successful Scotland with opportunities for everyone.
Legal aid in Scotland provides a vital service to people, many of them vulnerable, who would not otherwise be able to pursue or defend their rights, or fund their defence. Legal aid can make an important difference to people at difficult times in their lives. For example, it can help people maintain their financial security, keep their jobs or prevent unfair dismissal, or help remove them from the dangers of domestic abuse. By doing this, legal aid helps to prevent wider social problems such as people slipping into poverty. It therefore improves people's lives and helps Scotland become a more successful place.
Legal aid is also an important element of the wider criminal justice system and by providing publicly funded legal assistance to those accused of crimes, legal aid helps the criminal justice system to operate fairly. An effective and efficient system of legal aid helps cases to be processed through the courts as quickly as possible.
Our strategic aims are:
To provide access to a range of quality assured legal help in Scotland, when and where it is needed
To obtain best value for the tax payer through delivery of efficient legal assistance services in Scotland
To contribute to an efficient justice system in Scotland by providing an efficient legal aid system
Through the achievement of these aims, we contribute to the achievements of the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes.
23, Mar, 2017
Conference for lawyers involved in Children’s Hearings - Friday 19 May
20, Mar, 2017
LAOL downtime - Saturday 25 March
13, Mar, 2017
Research to review and improve legal assistance handbooks
07, Mar, 2017
Legal aid applicant sentenced for fraud
22, Feb, 2017
Serious concerns raised over methodology, analysis and underlying data in Law Society’s financial health report
06, Feb, 2017
Consultation launched on a revised Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance
01, Feb, 2017
SLAB welcomes independent strategic review of legal aid
01, Feb, 2017
Change to CLAO email addresses
30, Nov, 2016
SLAB annual report 2015-2016 published
17, Nov, 2016
Civil legal aid solicitors invited to give feedback on satisfaction with SLAB services
15, Nov, 2016
Performance Auditor for SNSIAP appointed
19, Sep, 2016
LAOL downtime - Monday 26 September
04, Feb, 2016
Fourth monitoring report on the availability and accessibility of legal services published