Legal aid is critical in securing access to justice for people without enough money to pay for a lawyer.
The rules for legal aid have been tightened in all parts of the UK in recent years. The Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Act 2013 attracted some attention as it went through the Scottish Parliament, particularly the sections which made lawyers responsible for securing payments direct from clients. But in general the situation regarding legal aid has not attracted much sustained attention.
Last November the Law Society of Scotland published a detailed discussion paper, calling for “root and branch” reform of legal aid, linked above.
The Society has not yet published its follow-up to this – it’s something to watch for.