SLAB welcomes new legal aid advisory panel

The Scottish Legal Aid Board's Chief Executive Colin Lancaster and board member Raymond McMenamin have been appointed to the Scottish Government's legal aid advisory panel.

The expert panel will advise on an evidence-based approach to reviewing payment structures and levels for legal aid services.

Comprised of academics and others from the legal profession, the panel has been set up by the Scottish Government following Martyn Evans’ independent review of legal aid. The panel will meet for the first time next week.

Colin said: “We welcome the setting up of this panel which draws on expertise from across the justice sector and independent experts.

“The panel is an important opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current model for payment of solicitors and advocates from public funds.

“Many aspects of the current legal aid payment system still reflect that constructed 70 years ago to mirror traditional feeing models in the private sector. We look forward to working with others to develop fresh thinking about different models for publicly funded payments that properly support delivery of important services by solicitors and advocates.

“It is essential that a revamped legal aid payment system is transparent, fair to both provider and taxpayer and works in the interests of people being assisted. But it must also be flexible enough to stay up to date and adapt to changes in the justice system and technology.”

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