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Changes to Legal Aid Summary Criminal Fixed Fee payments: February 2011 Stipendiary Magistrates Fee

A significant change is about to occur in the provision of Summary Criminal Legal Aid in Glasgow. If passed new legislation will see a new two tier payment structure set-up for the first time in Scotland.

Contact our solicitors for advice on all aspects of Criminal Law in Scotland

Glasgow is the home to Scotland’s only Stipendiary Magistrates Court based in St Andrews Street in the Saltmarket area. Stipendiary Magistrates within that court have identical sentencing powers to that of Sheriffs (i.e. can impose up to 12 months imprisonment).

The court covers a broad range of offences from drink driving, dangerous driving and disqualified driving through to offences such as assaults to injury, Class A drug offences, police assaults and DSS fraud offences.

Under the new proposals accused persons will be provided with less funding under the Legal Aid Scheme to instruct a Solicitor if the offence is committed in Glasgow. Funding for a case in Glasgow will sit at £315 per case. In every other jurisdiction in Scotland funding for an identical case will sit at £515. Why £200 less per case in Glasgow only? That question is still to be answered but appears to relate directly to budget cuts imposed by the Scottish Government targeted specifically at accused persons in Glasgow.

More to follow…