Through our engagement process, SLAB has identified opportunities to streamline, simplify and modernise the legal aid system. The streamlining programme will deliver further changes which will manage risks to the legal aid fund with reduced bureaucracy and benefits for solicitors, applicants and SLAB.
Project manager: John Osborne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Streamlining is a long term project. It will identify process, regulatory or legislative changes to streamline and simplify the system. These will be grouped in short term changes which SLAB can effect, regulatory changes which the Scottish Government can implement in the short to medium term, or statutory change which can only be delivered in the longer term.
Simplified and streamlined processes must continue to deliver assurance that public funds are properly used for those people who are eligible and for cases that meet the tests set down by Parliament.
Progress and next steps
In 2015, the Scottish Government asked SLAB to carry out a review of legal assistance as part of its strategy for legal aid.
For this work we have had extensive collaboration with the legal profession and other interested parties such as Families Need Fathers and CALM to look at the options to streamline legal assistance.
We spoke to a broad cross section of firms of solicitors across Scotland and our discussions centred on a number of key areas.
Criminal and children’s legal assistance are within scope of the streamlining programme, but the initial focus and a lot of the discussion concerned civil legal assistance.
We explored ways to reduce the administrative burden for SLAB, solicitors and clients in dealing with legal assistance applications.
The six short-term changes we made following this engagement process can be viewed on our website in the updates section.
SLAB is now developing further options to streamline processes for solicitors and clients:
Changes to the nature and level of documentary financial evidence required for civil legal aid applicants.
Giving applicants the option of making the financial aspect of the civil legal aid application online.
Ensuring that the structure and format of current guidance for solicitors helps them submit the right information for applications and accounts first time
Piloting a change in processes for authorising post grant work to minimise the level of unnecessary interaction between solicitors and SLAB.
Date last updated: 27 January 2017
Legal Aid Online
Legal services providers please click here to log in to Legal Aid Online
23, Mar, 2017
Conference for lawyers involved in Children’s Hearings - Friday 19 May
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