When applying for legal aid for an appeal to the Sheriff Appeal Court or the Court of Session, you should produce:

  • Any relevant legislation and case law and draw our attention to the relevant passages.
  • Any written judgement or Note by the sheriff or Sheriff Appeal Court of the decision to be appealed against or responded to highlighting any relevant passages.
  • A copy of the Application to state a case and the draft or final Stated Case or an  explanation as to why they are not yet available.
  • If the application relates to an appeal to the Court of Session against a decision of the Sheriff Appeal Court, confirmation that leave to appeal has been granted.
  • Any opinion already received from counsel.

Unless your client is a section 126 individual we need to see substantial grounds to appeal or respond to an appeal.  A simple statement on the application form stating that substantial grounds exist and that it is reasonable to grant legal aid is not enough.

A section 126 client needs to satisfy the effective participation test.  We therefore require detailed information from you to support this.  A simple statement on the application form stating that the effective participation test has been met and that it is reasonable to grant legal aid is not enough.

If you do not send us a copy of the written judgement or Note of decision that is being appealed (or confirmation that none was made or available) and a copy of the Application for a Stated Case or the draft Stated Case itself, we may reject the application without considering the merits.

Opinion of counsel

We do not expect to see an Opinion from Counsel in every application.  However, if this has been obtained you should send us this.  If we need to consider an Opinion from Counsel regarding the application we will continue your application and ask you to provide this.

Where we have requested such an Opinion, the previous grant of legal aid will cover an opinion from junior counsel (or senior if approved by us) where:

  • You client was legally aided when the court considered the matter at first instance.
  • There was authorisation to instruct counsel in those proceedings.

You require to seek sanction for this under the original grant of legal aid. Such an Opinion must address the prospects of success of the appeal and the statutory merits tests for granting the legal aid application.

Where we have requested such an Opinion, but your client did not have legal aid for the proceedings being appealed, an increase in advice and assistance can be sought for this if your client is eligible In any advice and assistance increase request for this purpose you should specifically state that we have requested this and provide the legal aid reference number of the appeal application. This will ensure a speedier decision.

In this section