How to complete a court application form CRIM/COURTAPP

You should use the CRIM/COURTAPP when:

  • Applying to the court for criminal legal aid under section 23(1)(b) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986, or section 30 (1) of the 1986 Act contempt of court
  • Legal aid is automatically available [section 22 of the 1986 Act]

You must obtain the court’s authorisation before providing criminal legal aid.  The court will send us information about the grant.

Section A – About any previous applications

It is important that you complete this section and provide the reference numbers of any previous applications relating to this. Please provide any legal aid reference numbers.


Section B – Solicitor acting for the applicant

Please complete all the questions in this section.  We need you and your firm’s name and address as well as the code numbers to ensure that we address correspondence correctly.  If you wish to use a name and address stamp, you must still enter your name, firm and branch code in the boxes.


Section C – The applicant

If you quote the client’s identifier you must still provide the client’s name and date of birth and add any information that has changed since the last application.  We need the client’s name and date of birth on every form to help us check that new forms are registered against the correct client.  If you do not know the client’s personal identifier, or the client has not had criminal legal aid before, you must answer all the questions in this section.


Section D – Applicant’s  financial circumstances

You only need to complete this section for application to the court under sections 23 (1) (b) or 30 (1).

The information here allows the court decide whether the client can meet the cost of the case without undue hardship to them or their dependants.  If the client’s spouse or partner receives an income, you must also give this information here.


Section E – Capital and any other assets

You only need to complete this section for applications to the court under sections 23 (1) (b) or 30 (1).

In this context, capital means savings and anything else of value the client owns.  This excludes the client’s main residence.  Give details of any cash, money in banks or building societies, property owned, shares or any other capital assets.


Section F – Weekly income from all sources and weekly payments due by the applicant

Please provide details of benefits, pay, pension payments, student grants or any other income which your client and their partner may receive.  In applying the undue hardship test, the court can take into account significant household payments made by your client.  Give details of rent/mortgage payments, council tax, loans, maintenance and any other payments the client makes regularly.


Section G – The case

Show the nature of the case here, by ticking the appropriate box.  You must also say whether the client has previously received a custodial sentence. If they have previously received a custodial sentence, the court cannot grant legal aid [section 23(1) (b) of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986].

You also should provide:

  • Details of the first appearance
  • Date of the next court appearance, if known
  • The location of the court where the first appearance took place (sheriff or high court)
  • The PF reference number

In this section, please also indicate whether your client has any other rights or facilities which might help fund the case, such as assistance from a trade union or insurance company.  If you have answered “Yes” here, please explain why you feel we should grant legal aid despite the existence of these other rights and facilities.


Section H – Equality

We have to monitor whether people have equal access to these public services.  Give your client our equality card and ask them to complete their answer on the form.  Your client does not have to answer these equality questions.  If they choose not to do so, please put a cross at question 1.


Section I – Declaration by applicant

You should make sure that your client understands that, by signing this declaration:

  • They authorise us to ask other people or bodies for information about the application
  • They consent to the disclosure of the application for quality assurance purposes

Section J – Declaration by the solicitor

You must sign and date the declaration.


Section K – Decision or certification by the court

This section is for use by the court only to inform us that it has granted legal aid or certified automatic legal aid.




In this section

Criminal legal aid applications to the court

Applications to the court for legal aid in a summary 23(1)(b) case

View guidance on the procedure and considerations when you apply to the court for a grant of criminal legal aid