Scottish Government
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Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has welcomed the Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill yesterday passing Stage 1 of its journey through the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking after a debate on the Bill this afternoon, Mr MacAskill said:

"The proposals within this Bill mark the most significant programme of civil courts reform in Scotland for a century. The creation of a Scottish Civil Justice Council is a key recommendation in Lord Gill’s landmark review of the Scottish civil courts.

"On legal aid, the Scottish Government believes that it is right and proper that those who can afford to pay towards the cost of their legal defence costs do so.

"Both parts of this Bill underline the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure the justice system better meets the needs of those it serves – the people of Scotland – through a series of improvements to make it fairer, more accessible, cost-effective and efficient.

"This Bill will improve our civil justice system, and help to maintain a fair, consistent and generous legal aid scheme. I welcome the progress made today. A range of important points were made during today’s debate. I will reflect on these and look forward to the Bill continuing through Parliament towards legislation."

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