The Scottish Legal Aid Board is the public authority which administers legal aid in Scotland in terms of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board is also responsible for the operations of the Public Defence Solicitor’s Office, Civil Legal Assistance Office and Solicitor Contact Line but we have a separate policy in relation to privacy which applies to those offices and which is available here.
What information do we collect about you?
There are several different types of legal aid and your solicitor will assist you in identifying the right one for your case, and making an application.
The information needed can vary depending on the type of legal aid but the information you are asked to provide is necessary to consider and process your application, and if legal aid is granted to administer any grant of legal aid that is made during the lifetime of the case and in relation to any relevant final or follow-up steps that arise at the end of the case in terms of legal aid regulations and our functions.
The information you will be asked to provide will be about you and your circumstances, such as household, financial and case details, so far as they are relevant to the application. We also have a duty to gather information about equalities.
Further information about all applications, what happens when legal aid is granted, and what happens at the end of your case is available on our website www.slab.org.uk. Your solicitor will also advise you on this.
How will we use the information which we collect?
We collect information so that we can assess your eligibility for legal aid. We receive information from you but we may also receive or check information with certain third parties (for example, some government departments and agencies) or give information to them. We will not, however, pass on information about you unless the law allows us or requires us to do so. We will retain the personal information we hold about you only as long as necessary and in accordance with our retention schedule and then destroy or delete it in a secure manner. The retention period will normally be the lifetime of the case or such other period as is required to complete the administration of the grant of legal aid and its consequences, if any.
We, or organisations working on our behalf, may contact you for research purposes. Participation in such research is entirely voluntary: you are under no obligation to take part.
We will only process the personal information we hold in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and for SLAB’s function under the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 you have the right to make a request to see the personal information we hold about you. This is called a Subject Access Request (SAR).You can inspect the data and have it corrected if it is wrong. In addition you may also have rights to have your data erased or have your data moved. You may be able to object to processing if you believe it to be unlawful and subject to lawful restrictions. To request your personal data you should contact SLAB’s Data Protection Officer - see contact details below.
If you are unhappy with the response you get from us, you can ask us to look again at your request – you can write to SLAB’s Data Protection Officer at SAR@slab.org.uk or using SLAB’s postal address. At any time, you are entitled to ask the Information Commissioner to review our decision or to go to court to enforce your rights.
Data Protection Officer
Scottish Legal Aid Board
91 Haymarket Terrace
Telephone 0131 226 7061
The Information Commissioner
You can find information about how to report a concern to the Information Commissioner on her website at: www.ico.org.uk/for-the-public/
Alternatively you can call them on 0303 123 1113 or write to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Or to the Scottish Regional Office for the ICO
Information Commissioner's Office
45 Melville Street
Tel: 0303 123 1115