Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1967

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1967 c. 43


Legal Aid (Scotland)Act 1967

1967 CHAPTER 43

An Act to consolidate certain enactments relating to legal aid and advice in Scotland and connected matters.

[14th July 1967]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Legal Aid

Legal Aid

S-1 Scope and general conditions of legal aid.

1 Scope and general conditions of legal aid.

(1) This and the three next following sections provide for, and (save as hereinafter mentioned) relate only to, legal aid in connection with proceedings before courts and tribunals in Scotland and before the House of Lords on appeal from the Court of Session.

(2) Unless and until regulations otherwise provide, the proceedings in connection with which legal aid may be given are any proceedings of a description mentioned in Part I of Schedule 1 to this Act, except proceedings mentioned in Part II of that Schedule.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this section, the proceedings in connection with which legal aid may be given may be varied by regulations, and the regulations may describe the proceedings to be included or excluded by reference to the court or tribunal, to the issues involved, to the capacity in which the person requiring legal aid is concerned, or otherwise.

(4) Regulations made for the purpose of the last foregoing subsection shall not provide for legal aid being given in connection with proceedings before any court or tribunal before which persons have no right and are not normally allowed to be heard by counsel or a solicitor.

(5) Legal aid shall consist of representation, on the terms provided for by this Act, by a solicitor and so far as necessary by counsel (including all such assistance as is usually given by solicitor or counsel in the steps preliminary or incidental to any proceedings or in arriving at or giving effect to a settlement to prevent or bring to an end any proceedings).

(6) A person shall not be given legal aid in connection with any civil proceedings unless he shows that he has a probabilis causa litigandi , and may also be refused legal aid in any such proceedings as aforesaid if it appears unreasonable that he should receive it in the particular circumstances of the case.

(7) In criminal proceedings, a person shall not be given legal aid in connection with—

(a ) summary proceedings unless—

(i)he is entitled to receive such aid by virtue of subsection (5)(b ) of the next following section, or

(ii) the court considers that in all the circumstances of the case it is in the interests of justice that legal aid should be available to the accused and grants a legal aid certificate;

(b ) proceedings by way of appeal against conviction or sentence (whether in summary proceedings or in proceedings on indictment) unless it appears that he has substantial grounds for taking those proceedings, and that it is reasonable that he should receive legal aid in the particular circumstances of the case.

(8) Save as expressly provided by or under this Act, the fact that the services of counsel or a solicitor are given by way of legal aid shall not affect the relationship between or the rights of counsel, solicitor and client.

S-2 Financial conditions of legal aid.

2 Financial conditions of legal aid.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, legal aid in connection with civil procedings shall be available for any person whose disposable income does not exceed seven hundred pounds a year or such larger yearly figure as may be prescribed:

Provided that a person may be refused legal aid if he has a disposable capital of more than five hundred pounds or such larger figure as may be prescribed and it appears that he can afford to proceed without legal aid.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, legal aid in connection with criminal proceedings shall be available to an accused person where the court is satisfied after consideration of his financial circumstances that he is unable without undue hardship to himself or his dependants to meet the expenses of the case.

(3) In the last foregoing subsection ‘court’ means—

(a ) in relation to summary proceedings the court before which the proceedings are being taken;

(b ) in relation to proceedings on indictment, the sheriff before whom the accused is taken for judicial examination;

(c ) in relation to an appeal by way of stated case from a court of summary jurisdiction, that court;

(d ) in relation to any other form of appeal, the court to which the appeal is made.

(4) Where—

(a ) in any case the court mentioned in paragraph (a ) or paragraph (b ) of the last foregoing subsection has made legal aid available to an accused person in pursuance of this section, that person shall continue to be regarded as financially eligible for legal aid in connection with any subsequent proceedings (including proceedings by way of appeal) arising from the case;

(b ) legal aid has not been made available to an accused person and his case comes before the High Court of Justiciary, legal aid shall be available to him if that court is satisfied of his financial eligibility as aforesaid.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, legal aid shall be available in connection with criminal proceedings to an accused person without inquiry into his resources—

(a ) where his case is being prosecuted under solemn procedure, and where no determination as to his eligibility for legal aid has been made for the purposes of that subsection, until, after being brought before the court for examination on declaration, he is admitted to bail or committed until liberated in due course of law; or

(b ) where he is in custody and is being prosecuted summarily before the sheriff or in a juvenile court constituted in pursuance of section 51 of the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937 , until the conclusion of the first diet at which he is called upon to plead and of any application for liberation which may follow thereon or, where he has pleaded guilty at that diet, until the conclusion of the last subsequent diet fixed for the disposal of his case.

(6) Where a person receives legal aid in connection with any proceedings—

(a ) the expenses incurred in connection with the proceedings, so far as they would ordinarily be paid in the first instance by or on behalf of the solicitor acting for him, shall be so paid;

(b ) his solicitor and counsel shall not take any payment in respect of the legal aid except such payment as is directed by this Act to be made out of the legal aid fund;

(c ) he may be required to make a contribution in accordance with the next two following sections to the legal aid fund in respect of the sums payable thereout on his account in connection with any civil proceedings;

(d ) any sums recovered by virtue of an award of expenses or of an agreement as to expenses in his favour with respect to the proceedings shall be paid to the legal aid fund;

(e ) his liability by virtue of an award of expenses against him with respect to the proceedings shall not exceed the amount (if any) which in the opinion of the court or tribunal making the award is a reasonable one for him to pay having regard to all the circumstances, including the means and the conduct in connection with the dispute of all parties.

(7) It shall be competent, at any time within such period as may be prescribed after the making of such an award of expenses as is mentioned in paragraph (e ) of the last foregoing subsection, for any party concerned in such award to apply to the court or tribunal by which the award was made for a reassessment of the amount of the award on the ground that since the award was made there has been a relevant change of circumstances, and on such application the court or tribunal may re-assess the amount of the award as seems to them proper.

(8) For the purposes of any inquiry under this section as to the means of a person who has been found liable in expenses, his dwelling-house, wearing apparel and household furniture and the tools and implements of his trade or profession shall be left out of account except to such extent as may be prescribed, and except as aforesaid, shall not, in any part of the United Kingdom, be subject to diligence or any corresponding process in execution of the award.

S-3 Contributions from assisted persons and payments out of property recovered.

3 Contributions from assisted persons and payments out of property recovered.

(1) A person's contribution to the legal aid fund in respect of any proceedings may include—

(a ) a contribution in respect of income not greater than one-third of the amount (if any) by which his disposable income exceeds two hundred and fifty pounds a year or such larger yearly figure as may be prescribed; and

(b ) a contribution in respect of capital not greater than the amount (if any) by which his disposable capital exceeds one hundred and twenty-five pounds or such larger figure as may be prescribed.

(2) A person may be required to make any contribution to the legal aid fund in one sum or by instalments.

(3) If the total contribution to the legal aid fund made by a person in respect of any proceedings is more than the net liability of that fund on his account, the excess shall be repaid to him.

(4) Except so far as regulations otherwise provide, any sums remaining unpaid on account of a person's contribution to the legal aid fund in respect of any proceedings and, if the total contribution is less than the net liability of that fund on his account, a sum equal to the deficiency shall be paid, in...

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