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2013 June to December mailshots and updates


These are the mailshots and updates we sent to the legal profession between June and December 2013.


Monday, Dec 30, 2013

Changes to the Criminal Legal Aid (Scotland)(Fees) Regulations 1989

This update provides information about changes to the fees payable to solicitors in solemn criminal legal aid cases.

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Thursday, Dec 05, 2013

Withdrawal of the Fife Drug Court

SLAB has been advised that the special Fife Drug Court pilot ended on 30 November 2013, and from that day onwards, all Drug Court Orders will be converted to Drug Treatment and Testing Orders and proceed in the way that they do in other courts around the country. As such, the previous arrangements for legal aid which were in place for the Fife Drug Court have now been reviewed.

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Tuesday, Dec 03, 2013

Children’s Duty Scheme – Festive Period Arrangements

We have been advised by the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) that its offices will be open until 5pm on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. For firms who are on the Children’s Duty Plan on those days please remember that you will need to be available up to 5pm.

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Thursday, Nov 14, 2013

Removal of the Crown Link online opt out in criminal applications

From Monday 18 November 2013, the facility to opt out of SLAB’s Legal Aid Online Crown Link will be removed for all types of criminal applications.

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Thursday, Nov 14, 2013

Adding Legal Assistance Updates to your ‘safe senders’ list

To make sure that you receive all Legal Assistance Updates, please add communications@slab.org.uk to your ‘safe senders’ list in Microsoft Outlook or other mail service.

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Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

Recovery of sums to be repaid to the fund

In accordance with our processes and procedures, we regularly write to firms requesting the return of sums paid to solicitors that we have identified as having been incorrectly paid for various reasons. In some cases we have received no reply to our written requests for repayment of sums paid in these circumstances despite the nominated solicitor having signed the declaration on the reverse of the synopsis. To reduce the administration involved concerning repayment of any sums due to the Fund, we have revised our process.

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Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

Preparing for Criminal Contributions

Part 2 of the Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance (Scotland) Act 2013, which will introduce contributions to most types of criminal legal assistance, and change the financial eligibility test for criminal ABWOR, is due to come into force in early 2014. We have been working closely with the Scottish Government and the Law Society of Scotland on the new regulations associated with the 2013 Act. These are due to be laid in Parliament shortly.

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Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme - Part-time Peer Reviewers needed

We are now looking to recruit more solicitors experienced in criminal law and the criminal legal assistance system to join the Quality Assurance Scheme panel of Peer Reviewers, to conduct periodic reviews of criminal legal assistance case files to ensure that they comply with the guidelines and criteria agreed between us and the Law Society.

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Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

Changes to the fees for photocopying papers

This update provides information about changes to the fees for photocopying papers in advice and assistance, ABWOR and legal aid cases and to the Board’s in-house copying service.

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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013

Children's duty scheme

The plans for the Children’s Duty Scheme covering the period 30 September 2013 to 22 June 2014 are now available on our website.

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Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

Update on experts

The Board has been looking at the rising cost of experts, which is over £6 million per year. We have been seeking to establish with the Law Society of Scotland how to achieve best value from these services.

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Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013

Update on video conferencing between solicitors and clients in prison

As part of the Scottish Government Making Justice Work programme, the Scottish Legal Aid Board, in partnership with the Scottish Prison Service, has been developing the technology and business processes to enable legal agents to consult with their clients in prison by way of a video link using their own computer equipment i.e. desktop PC/Laptop or tablet. A pilot project has been established and is now operational.

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Thursday, Aug 15, 2013

Legal Aid Reference Numbers - Children's legal assistance

When applying for Special Urgency or Children’s Legal Aid our applications system asks if there is an existing Legal Aid Reference Number (LARN) for this specific case. This may be from a previous special urgency grant or legal aid application. This will complete the new application for you with the information that we already hold about the applicant and this will save you time.

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Thursday, Aug 15, 2013

Category Codes - Children's legal assistance

In conjunction with the changes to children’s legal assistance that came into force on 24 June 2013 we have been analysing the use of subject matter categories by firms when they enter new advice and assistance cases onto the online system.

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Thursday, Aug 15, 2013

Section 48 applications for variation or termination of Child Protection orders before the Sheriff

We have received a number of queries surrounding Section 48 applications for variation or termination of Child Protection orders before the Sheriff, which can take place at short notice and can sometimes take place out of hours. We have outlined the availability of the different types of children’s legal assistance to a child and relevant persons for these hearings.

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Thursday, Aug 15, 2013

The Children’s Legal Assistance Duty Scheme

We have published the first tranche of the duty plan to run until 30 September 2013. We are currently working on the plan for the remainder of the period to 30 June 2014 and will publish it in September 2013. Although the scheme is in its early days we have identified a number of issues from the cases to date where a duty solicitor has been required.

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Tuesday, Aug 06, 2013

Half core fee where “duty solicitor” is acting in the capacity of “solicitor of choice”

There is still some confusion over the fee which can be claimed under summary criminal legal aid, if you were the duty solicitor and the case did not proceed to trial.

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Tuesday, Aug 06, 2013

Common problems with Financial Verification in criminal legal aid and advice and assistance/ABWOR cases

We find that the following issues commonly arise in criminal legal aid and advice and assistance/ABWOR cases as part of the financial assessment or approvals processes. Please take care when submitting your application to avoid these situations, as the more accurate the application can be the less likely we are to need to continue the case for clarification or more information, resulting in further work for both you and us. Your co-operation with these matters would be greatly appreciated.

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Tuesday, Aug 06, 2013

Police Station Duty solicitors’ attendance at police stations

We have a statutory function to ensure that solicitors are available to provide advice to suspects held in police stations. Practically, we do this through the operation of the Solicitor Contact Line and the local police station duty plans. We set up the duty plans to ensure that we have a rota of solicitors available to provide advice if a suspect requests it. From time to time we are asked why the duty solicitor has been contacted.

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Thursday, Jul 11, 2013

Children's legal assistance update

Major changes came into force on 24 June 2013 that extend the scope and availability of legal assistance for children’s hearings.

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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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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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25, Jan, 2017

Invitation for criminal legal aid solicitors to give feedback on satisfaction with SLAB services

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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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