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Spotlight on: Legal
Citizens advice bureaux are a key part of the wider landscape of publicly funded legal advice, helping clients with thousands of legal issues each year and resolving thousands of issues before they reach the legal stage. Bureaux operate nine in-court advice projects across the country and represent clients at thousands of tribunals and court cases each year.
6 May 2020
by Derek Young, CAS Senior Policy Officer (Access to Justice).
NB This column first appeared in the Herald newspaper on 6 May 2020.
28 Sep 2019
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has responded to the Scottish Government's consultation on reforming legal aid.
28 Sep 2019
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has called for reforms to the legal aid system, including extending legal aid to tribunal and simple procedure cases.
Modernising Consumer Markets
Publication date: July 2018
CAS welcomes the Consumer Green Paper and a stronger push by the UK government for greater simplicity, transparency and fairness for those that purchase and use goods and services.
A report for Citizens Advice Scotland by Sarah O'Neill Consulting
Publication date: December 2018
Sarah O’Neill Consulting was commissioned by Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to carry out research into the role of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) service within the legal advice/access to justice landscape in Scotland.
The purpose of the research was to describe and explore:
> the nature and extent of the role of the CAB service in Scotland within the legal advice/legal services landscape, in dealing with and resolving people’s civil justice problems.
> the quality assurance arrangements which are in place for the training and regulation/accreditation of CAB advisers and court/tribunal representatives.
> the benefits which the work done by the CAB service in Scotland brings in terms of both the wider public interest and for consumers, including a focus on early resolution/ prevention of escalation of problems.
The report found that the CAB service in Scotland plays a key role within the access to justice landscape, at all stages of a client’s ‘journey’. Hundreds of thousands of people who experience civil justice problems are reliant on its services to obtain access to justice. Bureaux provide vital support to clients who are often vulnerable, and who would find it difficult to access the same level of advice and support elsewhere. The entire justice system is therefore heavily dependent on the services which they offer.
In the words of one bureau manager: ‘if we didn’t exist, I think you would need to invent us’.
CAS response to Scottish Government consultation
Publication date: April 2018
Citizens Advice Scotland welcomes the opportunity to comment on the draft rules for the new Scottish Social Security Tribunals. We support a Tribunal continuing to be the forum for final dispute resolution within the Scottish social security system, and compared with some other aspects of the current system, the Tribunal system is relatively well-regarded by CAB clients and advisers.
Report Stage and Third Reading
Publication date: November 2015
This briefing focusses on amendments tabled to the Scotland Bill addressing areas where the
Bill does not appear to meet the intent of the Smith Agreement. Citizens Advice
Scotland is concerned that, as currently drafted, there are risks of detriment
to CAB clients, who sought advice on 220,000 new
benefits issues in 2014/15 and who have been subject to recent changes to reserved tribunals which have
had a marked and detrimental effect on consumers in Scotland.