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

21, Jun, 2016

Research on deaf people’s access to civil legal services

Read article

17, Jun, 2016

New Chair and Board members appointed by Scottish Government

Read article

15, Jun, 2016

SNSIAP Update June 2016 - Consent guidance and new FAQs

Read article

19, May, 2016

Courts research calls for appraisal of support in small claims disputes

Read article

29, Mar, 2016

Legal aid BSL videos now available

Read article

04, Feb, 2016

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

Read article

18, Dec, 2015

SLAB's annual report for 2014-2015 published

Read article