Special Urgency cover for steps in 2011 Act court proceedings before a decision is made on a legal aid application

Children’s legal aid under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 and Part 4 of the Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Act 2019 is only effective from the point when we are satisfied that all the statutory tests are met. Because of this, if you require to do work as a matter of special urgency before a decision has been reached on an a full legal aid application for proceedings under the 2011 Act you need to get special urgency cover in terms of regulation 18 of the Children’s Legal Assistance (Scotland) Regulations 2013.

If you have approval to do work as a matter of special urgency to protect your client’s position or carry out any specially urgent work that is specifically listed as not requiring our prior approval, any legal aid that we subsequently grant will include that work. If we grant approval, we may limit the work or subject this to conditions, as we consider appropriate.

You must ensure you have submitted the full legal aid application within 28 days of beginning the urgent work under the 2011 Act or the 2019 Act in specially urgent work that requires or does not require our specific prior approval. If you do not, the work will be excluded from any legal aid that may be made available.

Where work has been done in accordance with regulation 18, that work is covered under the legal aid subsequently granted. This does not mean the effective date on the certificate must be put back to the date the urgent work began. Your entitlement to payment depends on compliance with the terms of regulation 18 and not on any effective date stated on the certificate.

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