Regulation 31: termination of legal aid where conduct of your client is incompatible with continued grant

We may stop making legal aid available in certain situations where the conduct of your client is incompatible with the continued grant of public funds.  Under regulation 31 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 legal aid may be withdrawn in the following circumstances:

  • Where they have instructed you to conduct proceedings in an unreasonable way so that some unjustifiable expense is caused to public funds.
  • Where they have not complied with any condition imposed in terms of section 14 of Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986.
  • Where they have failed without reasonable excuse to attend for interview or to provide information or documents required.
  • Where they are in arrears with instalments of a contribution.

Termination in these circumstances does not affect your client’s status as an assisted person during the period when the grant of legal aid was in force and does not entitle us to recover our outlay from them.

Our right to recover sums paid out of the Fund

If legal aid is terminated in terms of Regulation 31A of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 we have the right to recover from your client the amount paid out of the Fund in respect of your fees and outlays less any amount received from your client by way of contribution.

Regulation 31(b) of The Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002: other possible reasons for termination of legal aid

In addition, regulation 31(b) allows us to stop legal aid if:

  • We are satisfied that we have wrongly assessed whether your client has probable cause.
  • We consider that legal aid should never have been made available.

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