Termination of legal aid in cases of false or incomplete information

We may stop legal aid under regulation 32 of the Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Regulations 2002 where, after allowing an opportunity for them to submit representations, we are satisfied your client has:

  • Made an untrue statement about their resources.
  • Failed to disclose any material fact about them.
  • Wilfully failed to comply with the regulations.
  • Knowingly made an untrue statement.

In any of these circumstances, and whether or not legal aid is terminated, we have the right to recover its whole outlay from your client. In addition, they are deemed never to have been an assisted person. The consequences of this are:

  • Your client will not be entitled to apply to the court for modification of liability for expenses for the period during which they were receiving legal aid.
  • They cannot use the special urgency provisions, or get legal aid, in relation to any later stages of the same proceedings in the same court.
  • They are not entitled to legal aid in any appellate proceedings unless we consider there is special reason for this to happen.

Anyone who seeks or receives legal aid is guilty of an offence if they [section 35 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986]:

  • Wilfully fail to comply with any regulations about the information they need to provide.
  • Knowingly makes any false statement or false representation.

Our Assisted Person’s Investigations team will report direct to the procurator fiscal cases where it appears that there has been a contravention of section 35 of the 1986 Act.

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