Legal aid in some form is available in many other states.

Most of the European and Scandinavian states have special arrangements to facilitate applications by residents of one state for legal aid in another state.  The arrangements for this are contained in the European Agreement on the Transmission of Applications for Legal Aid.  The following countries participate in these arrangements:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Eire
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • The UK.

Under the Agreement, each state must designate an authority to be responsible for transmitting applications from residents and for receiving applications from foreign residents.  We are the authority in Scotland.

If someone resident in Scotland wishes to apply for legal aid in the territory of another state which is party to the agreement, you should send us the application with clear instructions to transmit it to the other state concerned.  This will be prepared in the same way as any other application. Most of the states will accept applications in English. We can tell you if any special requirements apply, such as translations of certain documents.

We, as transmitting authority, must assist your client, ensuring the application includes all the necessary documents, and providing any necessary translation.  If we do not believe an application is made in good faith and refuse to transmit it, your client may still apply direct to the appropriate authority of the other state.

You may give advice and assistance on the transmission of a legal aid application in accordance with the agreement.

When we receive an application from another state we deal with this under the usual procedures.  However, we cannot insist on documents being sworn to or attested in any particular way.  As receiving authority, we must inform the transmitting authority of any difficulty relating to our examination of the application and the decision made.

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