Reflections from the Commission: an update on some changes to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission's Rules to support the new online complaint form

As part of its ongoing initiative to make the legal complaints process as accessible as possible, the SLCC has been further developing its website.

From 1 August 2015, complainers can make complaints using an online form on the SLCC’s website.

Two technical changes to rule 6 of the SLCC’s rules (making a complaint) were proposed to allow the new form. Following a short consultation, these changes were approved with effect from 1 August.

Rule 6(1): receipt date. The first change relates to the date on which a complaint form is deemed to have been received by the Commission. This is important in assessing whether the complaint has been received within time limits. From 1 August, a complaint which is submitted by the online complaint form will be deemed to have been received on the date on which the electronic form is received by the SLCC. In comparison, the current paper/document complaint form is only deemed to have been received when it has arrived within office hours on a date on which the Commission is open for business.

Rule 6(3)(d): signature. Up to this point, the Commission has insisted that a complaint form requires to be signed by the complainer, or a person acting on the complainer’s authority. To accommodate online complaints, this rule has been extended to state that, where a complaint form is submitted online, the electronically submitted form will be deemed to have been signed by the complainer, or by a person authorised to make the complaint on behalf of the complainer.

The Author
The new rules, and a link to the online form, are now available on the SLCC website – David Buchanan-Cook is the SLCC’s head of oversight, its area responsible, among other things, for producing guidance and best practice notes on complaint handling
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