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Who we are


The Scottish Legal Aid Board is responsible for managing legal aid in Scotland. Legal aid allows people who would otherwise not be able to afford it, to get help for their legal problems.


Our work is overseen by Board Members, who are appointed by Scottish Ministers. The number of Members can vary from 11 to 15. To give a balanced range of knowledge and experience, they include people with backgrounds in business, the advice sector and the wider community as well as solicitors and advocates and a person with knowledge of court procedure and practice.

Read more about our Board Members.

Ministers in the Scottish Government decide legal aid policy, set the rules for legal aid and decide the fees to be paid to the legal profession. The Scottish Parliament makes and changes legislation – including the tests for granting legal assistance.
 
These tests are then applied to every single case. In advice and assistance and some special urgency cases, solicitors apply the tests. For civil and criminal legal aid we apply the tests, except in some criminal and children’s cases, where, until the provisions of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act are implemented, the courts decide.
 
The budget for legal aid is different from many other public services: it is not a set amount. The Scottish Government gives SLAB the necessary funds to meet the cost of cases. This means we never have to refuse someone legal aid simply because there is no money left to pay for their case.

Quick links

20, May, 2016

Revised dates for SNSIAP accreditation, audits and peer review

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19, May, 2016

Courts research calls for appraisal of support in small claims disputes

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09, May, 2016

Annual update on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Criminal Legal Assistance

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04, May, 2016

LAOL downtime - Saturday 28th May

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15, Apr, 2016

2016 Keycards online

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07, Apr, 2016

SSDT finding on Gerard Tierney

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29, Mar, 2016

Legal aid BSL videos now available

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23, Mar, 2016

Iain Robertson to retire as SLAB Chairman after 10 years in post

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03, Mar, 2016

Determination by Scottish Ministers following the case of WF v Scottish Ministers

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04, Feb, 2016

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

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18, Dec, 2015

SLAB's annual report for 2014-2015 published

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