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Contracting in criminal legal assistance


The Scottish Government signalled its intention to introduce regulations which would allow SLAB to contract with criminal legal aid suppliers in its strategy paper - A Sustainable Future for Legal Aid - published in October 2011.


The Scottish Government asked SLAB to develop proposals for contracting with criminal legal aid suppliers. SLAB identifyed a range of options that might meet the Government’s policy objectives.

These were presented to the Government to allow Ministers to decide whether they wish any of the options to be further developed, consulted upon and in due course implemented.

In developing that advice we took into account the experience of other jurisdictions, our own data on current supply, data from other criminal justice partners and the views of the profession and others with an interest in the sustainable provision of publicly funded criminal legal defence services.

We have published material below for sharing and discussing with others.

Contracting updates:

In considering this information, it is important to understand its context. The information was drawn from background papers prepared by SLAB to help frame internal discussion about the background to, and drivers for, contracting and the range of contracting and other purchasing arrangements used in other contexts and other jurisdictions. These internal discussions helped frame our advice to Ministers.

The information released has been made available subject to redactions of exempt information under sections 26, 30 (b)(i) and (ii), 30(c) and 36(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

* Updated on 25 September 2013 to reflect information now in the public domain.


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