Legal Aid

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 5 March 2003.

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Photo of Gil Paterson Gil Paterson Scottish National Party

Question S1W-34179

To ask the Scottish Executive who was involved in drawing up the proposals to introduce a block fee structure for civil legal aid; what consultation was carried out regarding the proposals, and what other fee structures were examined.

Photo of Jim Wallace Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat

The Law Society of Scotland drew up the initial proposals, following wide consultation with the legal profession and with the assistance of an outside academic. The Scottish Legal Aid Board provided technical assistance in evaluating the detailed structure and effect of the proposals and in costing them. These proposals were then the subject of detailed negotiation with the Executive, during which significant changes were made.

A more detailed fee structure was considered at an early stage in the discussions, and was rejected on the basis that it would be both unacceptably costly and that it would not create the improvement in efficiency of the system that the Scottish Executive sought.

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