Guidance on applying for cover for special urgency

In assessing any application submitted for cover in terms of regulation 18 of the Children’s Legal Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 2013, we have to decide if the work to be done is needed as a matter of special urgency to protect the position of your client.

We can refuse approval where any earlier application by your client for the same proceedings has been refused, treated as abandoned or terminated, unless you satisfy us that there is a realistic prospect that legal aid will be granted on reconsideration or in a further application.

We are not obliged to grant approval where:

  • Your client has failed to provide sufficient information
  • Information has not been supplied because of undue delays on your part

Each application is considered on its own individual facts and circumstances.  It is crucial that your reasons for the special urgency are included within the body of the application form.  Consideration of special urgency applications is a priority matter for us and it is your responsibility to identify clearly and concisely the special urgency and why steps need to be taken to protect your client’s position immediately.

We do not, as a matter of course, grant special urgency cover for appeals against children’s hearings’ decisions involving a substantive decision on a full, rather than interim, compulsory supervision order despite the statutory 21 day time limit for lodging the grounds of appeal. If you are instructed by your client to appeal on the day of the hearing or shortly thereafter you will generally have enough time to submit a legal aid application for the appeal.  If we receive full and detailed information, including any financial verification required, a decision on your application can be given quickly.

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