Responsibilities and obligations of the court duty solicitor and the relationship with the nominated solicitor

The duties to be performed by the duty solicitor include the following:

  • Attendance at any identification parade
  • Attendance to any client who has been taken into custody on a charge of murder, attempted murder or culpable homicide
  • Advising and acting for a client in custody whose case is being prosecuted under solemn procedure

You should tell your client about their right to select their own solicitor as soon as is practical – no later than the full committal.

Where your client is tendering a plea of not guilty, you have an obligation to continue to tell them about their rights to select their own solicitor.

Instructing the nominated solicitor

You should forward the papers including the petition and a note of the procedural position, to the nominated solicitor.  The nominated solicitor should be in a position to take the client’s instructions and to lodge an application for summary criminal legal aid with us within 14 days [regulation 7A of the Criminal Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 1996].

A solicitor representing the client in custody should inform the court duty solicitor of this as soon as possible, to avoid needless trips to court or duplication of work.

Charging for duty solicitor work

You cannot charge separately under advice and assistance for any work which forms part of the services required of a court duty solicitor.

You cannot charge for meetings, correspondence and telephone conversations etc., arising in connection with the follow-up duties. Only work in relation to additional interviews with your client and others, and attendances at court can be allowed.

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