Research shows Covid had little impact on either access to criminal legal aid or client satisfaction

Findings from research involving criminal legal aid clients show that despite justice system challenges during the pandemic client satisfaction remains high, and the proportion reporting difficulty finding a solicitor to help remained at 5%, unchanged from 2018.

Satisfaction with the service from their solicitor was high, and very similar to previous surveys. Those who had attended virtual courts also generally rated the experience highly.

The surveys were carried out recently with the Public Defence Solicitors’ Office (PDSO) and private practice criminal legal aid clients. The findings are available on the research page of our website.

The research explored the experience of clients whose cases took place, at least in part, during the pandemic.

There were lots of changes to Scotland’s criminal justice system during this time.

All organisations involved in delivering justice services had to work to adapt their services to cope with things such as court and office closures, restrictions on travel and the need for social distancing.

The survey findings give us useful information on the experiences of criminal legal aid clients.

More information

Josephine Garrett

Research Officer

Policy & Development Dept



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