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New Justice Secretary Name

Keith Brown will replace Humza Yousaf as Justice Secretary as part of a cabinet shake-up in the aftermath of the 2021 election. Mr Brown, a veteran MSP who currently serves as deputy leader of the SNP,  takes over from Mr Yousaf at a time of great uncertainty from criminal practitioners in Scotland. 

Mr Brown finds himself taking the reins at the Justice Ministry almost immediately following on from one of the largest court boycotts by defence solicitors in recent years. He has yet to unveil any plans regarding the legal aid resilience fund, which many criminal law practitioners have urged him to see as a priority.

In a statement on Mr Brown’s appointment, Amanda Millar, President of the Law Society of Scotland said: “I congratulate Keith Brown on his nomination as Cabinet Secretary for Justice. It is vital that he focuses on ensuring our justice system recovers from the pandemic and that those in need of legal services get the help they deserve.”

“Top of his in-box must be getting more financial support out to more legal aid firms across the country, many of which are fighting for survival because of the fall in court business. The package announced last year was a start but most of the promised £9 million remains sitting in the Scottish Government’s bank account unspent. We need to get this money out to firms now otherwise we risk an access to justice crisis across the country, impacting on society’s most vulnerable. My message to the new Cabinet Secretary is a simple one; time is running out.”

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