The Scots seem content with retaining the old picnic table brand for legal aid, while the English and Welsh have dropped this and replaced it with three logos!
Over the last few months the government has grown fond of making comparisons with other countries to try and justify its planned legal aid cuts. Comparisons are difficult to make as the British adversarial system is very different to the inquisitorial systems that predominate in the rest of
A big difference between the two systems is that personal injury cases are still covered in
Colin Lancaster, director of policy and development at the Scottish Legal Aid Board (SLAB) said: 'SLAB and the Scottish government see the use of legal aid in personal injury and other damages-based cases as a worthwhile social investment.' He pointed out that over 80 per cent of the fees paid out in such cases are recovered. This is the same as what used to happen in
By not going for radical change and adopting a more gradual approach to legal aid reform and by having stable management at the top of the SLAB, the Scots seem to have been more successful in delivering their legal aid system than England and Wales. Perhaps the government needs to learn from this rather than rushing to slash entitlement to legal aid as it plans to?
An article on the Scottish legal aid system will appear in the September issue of Legal Action journal.