Section 4A(1) of the Legal Aid (Sc) Act 1986 (“the 1986 Act”) provides that the Board may on an application made to it by any person make grants of such amounts and subject to such conditions as it may determine in respect of any of the matters and purposes mentioned in sections 4A(2) and (3).
Section 4A(7) of the 1986 Act states that SLAB must prepare and publish a plan as to the criteria which the organisation will apply in considering whether or not to make such a grant; and SLAB must submit the plan to the Scottish Ministers for approval.
S4A also requires that Scottish Ministers must specify a limit to the total amount that may be paid out of the Fund under section 4A(1) and must specify the period in relation to which the limit applies.
In March 2018 Money Advice Service (MAS) and the Scottish Government agreed to extend grant funded programmes managed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board. Programmes have been extended for 12 months to March 2019.
The upper limit of expenditure from the Legal Aid Fund (the Fund) specified by Scottish Ministers as the total amount that may be paid out of the Fund by virtue of section 4A(1) of the 1986 Act is £39m for grants awarded under all grant funded programmes.
The period specified by Scottish Ministers in relation to which that limit applies ends on 31 March 2019. SLAB has published the direction. SLAB has published the determination allowing MAS monies paid to the Board to be paid in to the Legal Aid Fund for the grant funding programmes.