The legal aid system in Scotland is under ‘extraordinary pressure’. Lawyers have expressed concerns that ministers are at risk of causing ‘irreparable’ damage to the justice system. 
The Law Society of Scotland stated that we are creating a ‘generation of underfunding’, which will lead to individuals being unable to afford legal representation. This will ultimately result in justice being denied. 
Solicitors across Scotland’s three principal bar associations have participated in boycotts in an attempt to force the Government to provide further funding to legal aid. The Government has agreed to increase legal aid fees by 5% for the current year. They have also stated there will be a further 5% increase next year. 
However, the Law Society of Scotland stated that this still remains below the rate of inflation, which is at its highest level in 30 years. 
Mr Dalling stated the Scottish Government are ‘kicking the legal aid can down the road’. 
He continued: “Our legal aid system is under extraordinary pressure as a result of a generation of underfunding. There has been a huge decline in the number of people working in legal aid and ever escalating demands on those of us who remain. If action is not taken now the impact on the ability of citizens to access justice will be irreparable. There is a clear picture that qualified solicitors are departing the sector for better pay and conditions elsewhere”
“The Scottish Parliament’s own Criminal Justice Committee recognises the need for immediate investment, so it is hard to see what more the Government needs to recognise the problem itself.”