Wishart quizzes minister on legal aid access

10 Jan 2024
Beatrice Wishart MSP standing at lectern in Scottish Parliament chamber

Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland’s MSP, Beatrice Wishart, has raised the concerns of domestic abuse victims seeking justice with the Scottish Government’s Minister for Victims and Community Safety, Siobhian Brown MSP, during a session of Justice questions. Ms Wishart is seeking further clarification from the Minister after the exchange.

Ms Wishart asked:

“Women continue to struggle to get legal support in Shetland for domestic abuse cases including harassment and exclusion orders.

“They’re required sometimes with great urgency, to find and engage a solicitor on the Scottish Mainland, who will take on legal aid cases.

“Does the Scottish Government agree that this situation is unacceptable, with island victims of domestic abuse facing unique barriers to justice at often critical and vulnerable times?

After the exchange Ms Wishart said:

“Victims of domestic abuse should not be in a situation where they feel let down by the justice system.

“Domestic abuse is a particularly heinous crime, and speaking out and breaking away from an abuser should not be hampered by concerns that the legal system is unsupportive.

“Access to legal support should be equal and flexible to overcome geography and individual financial situations. Everyone deserves professional assistance to navigate the legal system.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The full exchange can be seen here.