Availability of legal aid in appeals for a client with other rights or facilities to assist with legal costs

We must also be satisfied [regulation 10 of the Criminal Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 1996] that your client does not have available to them:

  • Other rights and facilities making it unnecessary for them to obtain legal aid.
  • A reasonable expectation of receiving financial or other help from a body of which they are a member.

It is important that you always discuss this possibility with your client before applying for legal aid.

If we are not satisfied on these matters, we must refuse legal aid unless there is a special reason. If we are prepared to make legal aid available regardless of this support, the client may be asked to give us a written undertaking to pay us any sum received from the body of which they are a member.

We would, for example, expect to be satisfied in a Road Traffic Act case that the client does not have a right to assistance:

  • In terms of their motor insurance policy.
  • By virtue of their membership of a motoring organisation.
  • From their employer, if the offence arose while using the employer’s vehicle.

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