Criminal Defence Service

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Criminal Defence Service (CDS)

the part of the system for the provision of LEGAL AID in criminal matters in England and Wales. It is established by the LEGAL SERVICES COMMISSION. In the main services are provided by solicitors under contract. They are audited against the contract. There may be provision of advice and assistance or advocacy services. There is a duty solicitor scheme. A CDS logo is available for solicitors to show the public that they are able to provide the contracted services. It is operating a pilot public defender system (as is the Scottish Legal Aid Board).