Choosing the right legal aid declaration form for criminal appeals

You must apply to us for criminal legal aid for an appeal through Legal Aid Online.

Declaration form: legal aid was in place at first instance

We do not require a new criminal legal aid declaration form to be signed as no financial test is required.

You require to send the online criminal legal aid appeal declaration form LAO/APP/1 and supporting documentation confirming that leave to appeal has been granted.

Application form for cases where legal aid was not in place at first instance

Your client should normally sign the criminal legal aid appeal declaration form LAO/APP/2.

However, in their absence:

  • A person authorised by your client may sign the application where the applicant on cause shown cannot do so (for example, where the only reason for a visit to see the client in custody would be to have this form signed).
  • The legal representative (a judicial factor or guardian) may sign the application form if your client is mentally disordered [section 1(2) of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984].

Where your client is not present:

When you see clients face to face they must sign the declaration.  If the client is present and cannot sign, or if the client is not present, you should indicate that you are signing on behalf of your client and give the date of your remote consultation with the client. In these circumstances you must explain the terms of the declaration to the client and obtain their verbal consent to its terms.

Obtaining your client’s financial information

In cases where there is a financial test, as early as possible, you should:

  • Obtain the client’s financial information.
  • Ask your client to sign the declaration for the full appeal application.

This will avoid delay in the event that you are entitled to submit an appeal application. You should also update us of any changes in the client’s financial circumstances at the time of the appeal application.

The application must include a statement signed by you or on your behalf confirming that you are willing to act for your client.


See our guidance on solicitor and applicant signatures.



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