From 25th January, anyone who faces police questioning is entitled to legal advice, regardless of whether they have been charged or not. This is a major new change that brings new rights protections.
However many solicitors are concerned that this change has not been accompanied by any increase in legal aid. Instead hundreds of solicitors have withdrawn from the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s police station duty scheme over sustained cuts to the legal aid budget, which they say will leave them unable to deal with the heavier workload brought on by the legislation.
And, compounding the problem, SLAB solicitors have said they too lack capacity to handle the work.
Read more here.
Image credit: Steven Straiton CC by 2.0