Updated CRIM/COURTAPP form to allow for extended domestic abuse categories

The new Domestic Abuse Act 2018, which came into force on 1 April 2019, has also extended the list of categories where the court can appoint a solicitor to act under Section 288D of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.

In these cases, legal aid becomes automatic following a court appointment, and these cases should be intimated and authorised using the CRIM/COURTAPP form, which has now been amended to include these new categories.

In these cases, there are no eligibility tests and no financial tests.

You should complete the relevant sections of the CRIM/COURTAPP form and have this authorised by the Court who will send the forms to us.

The new categories are:

  • Offences under section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex-partner) under section 288DC (1)(a);
  • Offences that are aggravated as described in section 1(1)(a) of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (abuse of partner or ex-partner) under section 288DC (1)(b)

The new version of the CRIM/COURTAPP form is now available on our website, and should now be used for all Court granted and automatic legal aid cases.

We are working on a new case category for other cases under the new Act, including the new coercive and controlling behaviour, and we will advise you when this has been implemented.

In the meantime, these new charges can be categorised under the OTHER criminal category – OTC.

For more information, please contact Kingsley Thomas, Head of Criminal Legal Assistance E: thomaski@slab.org.uk

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