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].

Covid-19

For the duration of the Covid-19 period, solicitors may not be able to meet clients in person.

This means that legal aid declarations cannot be signed by people. There may also be concerns about sharing pens with people.

If you are consulting with people remotely, or have any other health concerns such as sharing pens, we can accept applications without the client’s signature in these circumstances for the time being.

In the online application, when you are asked to confirm that the declaration has been signed by the client, you should say ‘No’, and give the explanation ‘Coronavirus‘.

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.

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