Your client may be appealing under some provision of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 other than section 106(1) or section 175(2), for example, by way of a bill of suspension, where leave to appeal is not required. If so, we have to be satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case it is in the interests of justice to grant criminal legal aid for an appeal.
We must be satisfied that:
In the first instance, an application for regulation 15 legal aid should be submitted for counsel’s Opinion and for counsel to draft the petition to the nobile officium. Once available the Opinion and the bill should be submitted with an application for legal aid.
Where a petition has no merit, is frivolous, or if the consequences of a successful petition will have no practical benefit to the appellant, the application for legal aid may be refused.
We must be satisfied that a bill of suspension is the appropriate method of appeal in the circumstances of the case and, if so, that a separate application is required.
There is no list of factors under section 25 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 or any restriction on what which may be taken into account in any particular case, and the identification of relevant factors and the evaluation of the weight to be attributed to each factor is a matter for us.
Examples of factors that may be taken into account include:
Where a separate application is required, please first of all submit an application for regulation 15 legal aid for counsel’s Opinion and for counsel to draft the bill of suspension. Once available the Opinion and the bill should be submitted with an application for legal aid. When considering that application we will apply the interests of justice test.
A bill of advocation is the appropriate method of appeal for challenging a procedural irregularity prior to the conclusion of a case.
Payment for all fees and outlays incurred in the appeal will be made under the original legal aid certificate. Your client does not require our prior approval to proceed with a bill of advocation.