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Mailshots and updates


You can find details below of all updates sent to the legal profession. They contain information about new developments and any changes in legal aid provision


The updates are shown in date order. To find a particular topic, use the website's Search tool to search the content of mailings.

Older mailshots and updates are also available through the sidebar menu on the left. Older mailshots are in Adobe Acrobat format - the Reader software is free and available from Adobe's website.


To receive updates please contact Receipts and Payments with your email address on 0131 240 2080 or by email.

Solicitors registered for civil legal aid contact civilregister@slab.org.uk.

Solicitors registered for criminal legal aid contact criminalregister@slab.org.uk.


Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance

A final draft of an updated Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance has been submitted to Ministers for consideration and approval.

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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017

Changes to the arrangements for opposing applications for orders for recovery of sensitive documents in criminal proceedings

The Advice and Assistance (Proceedings for Recovery of Documents) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 came into effect on 13 September 2017.

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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

Improvements made to Legal Aid Online Declarations and Forms page

We have streamlined the way users can access this information by developing a Document Finder tool to make the selection process much simpler.

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Tuesday, Sep 12, 2017

Children’s Quality Assurance Scheme set to launch

Peer reviews of children’s legal assistance files will be starting in late September 2017.

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Thursday, Sep 07, 2017

LAOL notifications filter to be reinstated

This follows requests and feedback from solicitors who highlighted the benefits of being able to filter the columns.

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Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

Criminal appeals - help to ensure legal aid cover is in place

The revised procedures we introduced in 2015 for criminal appeals appear to be working well in the majority of cases. However, the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Team has made us aware that some solicitors and counsel find the timescales very tight to apply for full legal aid once leave to appeal has been granted.

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Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

No legal aid changes required following implementation of new Sheriff and Jury procedures

This update is to confirm that no legal aid changes are required to accommodate the new Sheriff and Jury procedure changes implemented over the summer under Part 3 of the Criminal Justice Scotland Act 2016.

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Wednesday, Aug 23, 2017

Online system improvements to go live Sunday 27 August

These include various changes benefitting all LAOL users as well as the system improvements for criminal A&A and ABWOR applications that we explained in our last update.

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Thursday, Aug 03, 2017

Over 250 solicitors now registered for agents to prison video link

We would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the video link and remind you of the benefits of using the video link.

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Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

A&A system development to focus on Criminal first

This update is to tell you about system enhancements to Legal Aid Online’s Criminal A&A and ABWOR application functions that will go live in late August.

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Friday, Jul 21, 2017

Guidance on selecting the correct category code where social work involved with a child

To help you we have updated the civil and children’s handbook guidance on this when admitting clients to advice and assistance.

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Friday, Jul 07, 2017

Engagement Events – Criminal Code of Practice & Fee Reform

Details are now available of the solicitor and local Faculty meetings we advised you we would be holding following the recent consultation on the draft Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance.

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Friday, Jun 09, 2017

New plans online for Children’s Duty Scheme – 26 June 2017 to 24 June 2018

You should check the dates that your firm has been allocated during this period.

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Tuesday, Jun 06, 2017

SLAB responds to solicitor concerns with changes to draft criminal Code of Practice

Following responses received from the profession in our recent consultation we are making changes to the draft Criminal Code of Practice. Join us at one of the events being organised in July and August and help develop the new Code.

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Friday, Jun 02, 2017

No legal aid changes required to accommodate the new Practice Note on Taking Evidence of Vulnerable Witnesses by a Commissioner

The High Court’s new Practice Note on Taking Evidence of a Vulnerable Witness by a Commissioner came into force on Monday 8 May 2017. The new Practice Note sets out in more detail what needs to be addressed by a solicitor in dealing with Vulnerable Witness notices, as well as the matters which are expected to be covered at the hearing.

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Thursday, Jun 01, 2017

Update on guidance on requirements for FAI applications

The changes are in response to the Act of Sederunt (Fatal Accident Inquiry Rules) 2017, which comes into force on 15 June and sets out how inquiries are to work in practice.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Preventing duplicate representation at Children’s Hearings

It can be difficult for the Reporter or us to know in advance of a Children’s Hearing if a child already has their own solicitor of choice or will require a duty solicitor. This is because these hearings take place at relatively short notice and the child may often be distressed about the circumstances they find themselves in.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Criminal Justice Act - Police station proposals

A simplified process and new fees will be introduced for police station work.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Annual update on the Quality Assurance scheme for Criminal Legal Assistance

This is the fourth annual update highlighting, in general terms, the issues and areas of good practice and the areas for improvement identified in the peer reviews considered between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.

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Thursday, Apr 27, 2017

Legal Assistance Handbooks now accessed directly from our website

The Criminal, Civil, Legislation and Children’s (2011 Act) Legal Assistance Handbooks are now hosted directly on our website.

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Legal Aid Online

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Providers News

12, Oct, 2017

Changes to SLAB’s approach to monitoring of legal services

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11, Oct, 2017

Evaluations of grant funding advice programmes published

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29, Sep, 2017

Code of Practice for Criminal Legal Assistance

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