Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme - Part-time Peer Reviewers needed

Thursday, Oct 10, 2013

The Criminal Quality Assurance Scheme was devised in partnership with the Law Society of Scotland and the Scottish Government and commenced in February 2012. The scheme is administered by the Board under Part IVa of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 and is part of the overall compliance regime. The process is overseen by the Board’s Criminal Quality Assurance Committee, which comprises three members appointed by the Board, three members appointed by the Law Society of Scotland, and three independent or lay members appointed in consultation with the Society.  

All criminal solicitors who have registered with the Board to provide criminal legal assistance are subject to peer review. The Peer Reviews consist of an examination of a range of solicitor’s files by one or more of a panel of Peer Reviewers who are experienced and currently practising criminal solicitors. The purpose of the review is to examine the quality of the work carried out on behalf of the client, based on the evidence contained within the files. Files are assessed against set peer review criteria for summary, solemn and criminal appeal cases. The criteria cover issues such as initial client contact, bail matters, handling of preliminary or guilty pleas, trial preparation, communication of outcomes, and legal aid matters. The criteria were developed in consultation with the Law Society, and with the reviewers themselves. 

We are now looking to recruit more solicitors experienced in criminal law and the criminal legal assistance system to join our panel of Peer Reviewers to conduct periodic reviews of criminal legal assistance case files to ensure that they comply with the guidelines and criteria agreed between us and the Law Society. 

Peer Reviewers will be contracted on a consultancy basis, and will have to be able to provide up to two days a month to carry out these reviews. They will have to attend compulsory training, which will be provided before conducting any reviews. The contract will be for a 3-year fixed period.

Payment will be on a daily rate (£385 excluding VAT), and travel and subsistence expenses will also be paid.

For details of how to apply, visit

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