25 September 2023
We are seeking the views of the profession and others in a consultation launched today about our policy on the ABWOR merits test which we apply in removal of disqualification from driving cases. This consultation relates to this area of criminal ABWOR only.
Criminal ABWOR is available for cases involving applications for the removal of a driving disqualification. In order for ABWOR to be given, our prior approval is required.
We are now consulting on how we might change our current approach to decision-making in this area, and in particular, how we might simplify the merits test we apply.
The change we are proposing is a move to focussing solely on the procedural elements of the application, rather than any more substantive consideration of the broader merits.
Our aim in exploring our policy in this area is to ensure our policy to prior approval here is both proportionate and consistent with the approach we take to the other criminal ABWOR merits tests which we are responsible for.
This change on which we are consulting is therefore aligned with the Legal Aid Review’s strategic aim of maintaining scope but simplifying.
We want to hear your views on the proposed change and any potential benefits and risks you anticipate might arise as a result of it.
This consultation is part of a process that will see us more clearly stating our policies and guidance for those applying for legal aid and our staff assessing the information provided.
The consultation forms part of our Guidance on the Administration of Legal Aid project (GALA) and follow 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 consultation on reforming legal aid.
Please download the consultation document for full details and for information on how to respond, including an online form.
The consultation closes at 5pm on 6 November 2023.
If you have any questions about the consultation, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.