The legislation makes provision in connection with the availability of criminal legal aid in Scotland; to repeal and re-enact with modifications certain enactments relating to legal aid and to advice and assistance in Scotland; and for connected purposes.

Part I – Scottish Legal Aid Board

Learn about our powers and duties, and the legal aid fund (contains sections 1-5).

Part II – Advice and assistance

View the information in the Legal Aid (Scotland) 1986 Act relating to advice and assistance (contains sections 6-12B).

Part III – Civil legal aid

View the sections of the 1986 Act relating to availability, financial conditions and other aspects of civil legal aid (contains sections 13-20).

Part IV – Criminal legal aid

Find out about the scope, availability and details of criminal legal aid in different proceedings under the 1986 Act (contains sections 21-25AB).

Part IVA – Criminal legal assistance

View the sections of the Act about registration for criminal legal assistance and the power to remove solicitors from this work (contains sections 25A-25F).

Part V – Employment of solicitors by SLAB

Learn about the powers the 1986 Act gives us to employ solicitors (contains sections 26-28A).

Part VA – Childrens’ legal aid

View the sections of the 1986 Act about the availability and other criteria relating to children's legal aid (contains sections 28B-28LA).

Part VB – Children’s legal assistance

Find out the details contained in the 1986 Act relating to registration and compliance in children's legal assistance (contains sections 28M-28S).

Part VI – Miscellaneous

View the miscellaneous sections of the 1986 Act which includes contempt of court, finance and a range of other topics (contains sections 30-46).

Schedules 1 – 5

View schedules 1-5 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) 1986 Act.

  • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 – as amended to take account of:
    • The Social Security Act 1986 (c.50), section 86 and Schedule 10 insofar as coming into force on 11th April 1988;
    • The Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 (c.18), section 98 coming into force on 30th November 1988;
    • The Legal Aid Act 1988 (c.34), section 44 and Schedule 4 insofar as coming into force on 29th July 1988, and section 45 and Schedule 6 insofar as coming into force on 1 April 1989;
    • The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990 (c.40), section 38 coming into force on 31 September 1991; and section 74 and Schedules 8 and 9 insofar as coming into force on 26 August and 30th September 1991;
    • The Companies Act 1989 (Eligibility for Appointment as Company Auditor) (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 1991 [S.I. 1991 No. 1997] regulation 2 and the Schedule, paragraph 64 coming into force on 1 October 1991;
    • The Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 (c.53), section 18 and Schedule 3 coming into force on 1 October 1992;
    • The Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993 (c.9), section 47 and Schedule 5, paragraph 4 coming into force on 1 October 1993;
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 1993 [S.I. 1993 No. 969 (S.131)] coming into force on 1 April 1993;
    • The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 1993 [S.I. 1993 No. 970 (S.132)] coming into force on 12th April 1993 (Regulations 1, 2, 3(b) and 4 only);
    • The Advice and Assistance (Financial Limit) (Scotland) Regulations 1993 [S.I. 1993 No. 3187 (S.309)] coming into force on 10th January 1994;
    • The Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.7), section 14(2) and Schedule 5 coming into force on 1 August 1995;
    • The Jobseekers Act 1995 (c.18), section 41(4) and Schedule 2, paragraph 9 coming into force on 7 October 1996;
    • The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.20), sections 65 and 117(2) and Schedule 7, Part I coming into force on 26 September 1995; and section 64 coming into force on 31 March 1996;
    • The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.36), section 105(4) and Schedule 4, paragraph 40(b) coming into force on 1 November 1995; and section 92 coming into force on 1 April 1997;
    • The Criminal Procedure (Consequential Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1995 (c.40), section 5 and Schedule 4, paragraph 63 coming into force on 1 April 1996;
    • The Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 (c.48), section 62(1) and Schedule 1, paragraph 12(1) and (7) coming into force on 1 August 1997; sections 49 (partially) to 54 and 62(1) and Schedule 1, paragraph 12(2) to (4) and (8) to (10) coming into force on 1 October 1997; section 62(1) and Schedule 1, paragraph 12(5) and (6) coming into force on 20th October 1997; section 49 (partially) coming into force on 1 April 1998; and section 49 (partially) coming into force on 1 October 1998;
    • The Scotland Act 1998 (Consequential Modifications) (No. 1) Order 1999 [S.I. 1999 No. 1042] article 3 and Schedule 1, paragraph 11 coming into force on 6 May 1999;
    • The Access to Justice Act 1999 (c.22), sections 32 - 34, 105 and Schedule 14, paragraph 12 coming into force on 27 September 1999 and for certain transitional purposes on 5 October 1999;
    • The Scotland Act 1998 (Consequential Modifications) (No. 2) Order 1999 [S.I. 1999 No. 1820] article 4 and Schedule 2, paragraphs 86 and 168 coming into force on 1 July 1999;
    • The Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (asp1), section 26 and Schedule 4, paragraph 6 coming into force on 1 April 2000;
    • Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (asp4) Section 88 and Schedule 5, paragraph 19 coming into force on 2 April 2001 [S.S.I. 2001/81].
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2001 [S.S.I. 2001 No. 42] coming into force on 19th February 2001.
    • The Convention Rights (Compliance) (Scotland) Act 2001 (asp7) Sections 6, 7, 8 and 9 coming into force on 6 July 2001 [S15(3)].
    • Sexual Offences (Procedure and Evidence) (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp9) Section 2 [Inserting new Section 288D into Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995] coming into force on 1 November 2002 [S.S.I. 2002/443].
    • Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (asp11) Section 25 and Schedule 6, paragraph 9 coming into force on 23 October 2002 [S.S.I. 2002/467].
    • Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp17) Section 44 coming into force on 30th December 2002 [S64(2)].
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2002 [S.S.I. 2002 No. 532] coming into force on 1 December 2002.
    • Tax Credits Act 2002 (c.21) Section 47 and Schedule 3, Paragraph 5, 10, 11 and 12 coming into force on 8th April 2003 [S.I. 2003 No. 962 Reg 2(4)].
    • Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp7) Section 73 coming into force on 27 June 2003 [S.S.I. 2003/288].
    • The Public Appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 [asp 4]
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2004 [S.S.I. 2004 No. 493].
    • The Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 [S.S.I. 2005 No. 163]
    • The Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Schedule 9, Part 1 paragraph 49, and Part 2 paragraph 85.
    • The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 [S.S.I. 2005 No. 162].
    • The Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 [S.S.I. 2006 No. 179]
    • The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2006 [S.S.I. 2006 No. 178].
    • The Equality Act 2006, Schedule 3, paragraph 39
    • The Scottish Commission for Human Rights Act 2006
    • The Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 [S.S.I. 2007 No. 247]
    • The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 [S.S.I. 2007 No. 249].
    • The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 - coming into force on 8 February 2007
      • Section 69(1)(2)(a)(4)
      • Section 71
      • Section 73
      • Section 76
    • The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 - coming into force on 30 July 2007
      • Section 67
      • Section 68
      • Section 74
    • The Welfare Reform Act 2007, Schedule 3, paragraph 4
    • The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional Provision and Savings Order 2007) [S.S.I. 2007 No. 334
    • The Criminal Proceedings etc (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 Schedule , paragraph 5, coming into force on 10 December 2007
    • The Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 [S.S.I. 2008 No. 137]
    • The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 [S.S.I. 2008 No. 138]
    • The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 3 and Related Amendments Order 2008) [S.S.I. 2008 No. 314]
    • The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 (Commencement No. 5) Order 2008
    • The Advice and Assistance and Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 2009
    • The Advice and Assistance and Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 2010
    • The Advice and Assistance and Civil Legal Aid (Transfer of Tribunal Functions) (No. 2) (Scotland) Regulations 2010.
    • Criminal Procedure (Legal Assistance, Detention and Appeals) (Scotland) Act 2010 asp 15
    • The Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007 (coming into force on 25 November 2010)
      • Section 64
      • Section 65
      • Section 72
    • Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 asp 16
      • Section 140 (Coming into force on 1 May 2011)
      • Section 41
      • Section 42 (Coming into force on 1 April 2011)
    • The Advice and Assistance and Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions and Contributions) (Scotland) Regulations 2011 [S.S.I. 2011 No. 217
    • Legal Services (Scotland) Act 2010 (Ancillary Provision) Regulations 2012 [S.S.I. 2012 No. 212]
    • The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 [S.S.I. 2013 No, 65]
    • The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) (No. 2) Regulations 2013 [S.S.I. 2013 No, 137]
    • The Welfare Reform (Consequential Amendments) (Scotland) (No. 3) Regulations 2013 [S.S.I. 2013 No, 142]
    • The Scotland Act 2012 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2013 [S.S.I 2013 No. 728]
    • Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 [asp 18]
    • The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 12 and Saving Provision) Order 2016 [asp 8]
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2016 [S.S.I. 2016 No. 356]
    • The Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 (Relevant Officer and Consequential Provisions) Order 2016 [S.S.I. 2016 No. 387]
    • The Advice and Assistance (Proceedings for Recovery of Documents) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 [S.S.I. 2017 No. 291]
    • The Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2017 [S.S.I.2017 No. 397]
    • The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (Commencement and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2018 [S.S.I. 2018 No. 387]