Consultation launched about application of the Interests of Justice test in summary criminal sheriff court proceedings

We are launching a consultation today about how we apply the Interests of Justice test in summary criminal proceedings in the sheriff court.

This follows work we’ve been doing with Scottish Government colleagues to agree a programme of work that can give effect to some of the themes set out in the government’s recent consultation.

This was required in advance of changes that the government may decide to take forward that would need new legislation.

There was strong support in the consultation for simplification of the current system, while maintaining broad scope.

Our initial agreed focus has been on identifying ways to simplify the application of the Interests of Justice test in summary criminal cases (legal aid and ABWOR).

We are seeking views on the options we’ve identified for changing our policy and their benefits and disadvantages.

In particular, whether this is a desirable change and what you can tell us about possible impacts for applicants’ equality groups.

See the consultation document.

The consultation closes at 5pm on 12 November 2020.

If you have any questions about the consultation, please contact Kingsley Thomas (

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