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The Criminal Legal Assistance (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2010

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EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations amend the Criminal Legal Aid (Fixed Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 1999 (“1999 Regulations”) and the Criminal Legal Assistance (Fees and Information etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (“2008 Regulations”) in relation to the fees and fixed payments payable to solicitors.

The amendments made by these Regulations only apply to cases in relation to which criminal legal assistance (as defined by section 41 of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986(1)) is first provided to the client at a police station on or after 8th July 2010 (regulation 2).

Regulation 4 of the 1999 Regulations is amended to make provision for cases in which a solicitor who provides less than 2 hours’ advice and assistance to a client at a police station is, by virtue of the amendment made by regulation 4 of these Regulations, entitled to payment for that work and subsequently a different solicitor (or solicitors) act for the client in respect of the same matter. Regulation 3 of these Regulations amends regulation 4 of the 1999 Regulations to provide that in such cases (except where the case proceeds before a designated drug court) the fee that the solicitor who acted for the client at the police station is entitled to, is to be deducted from any fixed payment payable to the solicitor (or solicitors) who subsequently acted for the client.

Regulation 7 of the 2008 Regulations provides that where more than one type of criminal legal assistance is made available, payment is to be made in respect of one type of assistance only. Exceptions to the single payment rule are set out in regulation 7(5). Regulation 4 of these Regulations amends regulation 7(5) of the 2008 Regulations to add a further exception. The added exception allows a solicitor to be paid for spending less than 2 hours providing advice and assistance to an assisted person at a police station, provided that solicitor does not go on to provide the assisted person with further criminal legal assistance in respect of the same matter.

(1)

The definition of “criminal legal assistance” was inserted by the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 (c.48), Schedule 1, paragraph 12(10)(b).

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