Information for the public Information for providers

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. 


Our work

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.

Strategic objectives 

Our strategic aims are:

Through the achievement of these aims, we contribute to the achievements of the Scottish Government’s Purpose and National Outcomes.

Quick links

23, Mar, 2017

Conference for lawyers involved in Children’s Hearings - Friday 19 May

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20, Mar, 2017

LAOL downtime - Saturday 25 March

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13, Mar, 2017

Research to review and improve legal assistance handbooks

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07, Mar, 2017

Legal aid applicant sentenced for fraud

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22, Feb, 2017

Serious concerns raised over methodology, analysis and underlying data in Law Society’s financial health report

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06, Feb, 2017

Consultation launched on a revised Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance

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01, Feb, 2017

SLAB welcomes independent strategic review of legal aid

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01, Feb, 2017

Change to CLAO email addresses

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30, Nov, 2016

SLAB annual report 2015-2016 published

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17, Nov, 2016

Civil legal aid solicitors invited to give feedback on satisfaction with SLAB services

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15, Nov, 2016

Performance Auditor for SNSIAP appointed

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19, Sep, 2016

LAOL downtime - Monday 26 September

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04, Feb, 2016

Fourth monitoring report on the availability and accessibility of legal services published

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