With only a fortnight to go until Capita’s stewardship of courtroom interpreting comes to an end, latest government statistics show the monopoly provider missing its key performance target yet again.

The Ministry of Justice’s latest quarterly update shows that, between April and June this year, Capita Translation and Interpreting achieved a 96% success rate in the number of completed service requests.

Four years after the controversial outsourcing of courtroom interpreting to a single contractor, Capita TI has met the 98% contractual requirement only once - in the last quarter of 2015. The latest success rate is also a percentage point lower than the success rate achieved in the first quarter of this year.

However, in some good news, there were 10 fewer ‘proven’ complaints between April and June, compared with the previous quarter. The ministry’s bulletin states that the complaints rate has fallen from 4% in 2013 to just over 1% in the second quarter of this year.

The most common cause of complaint was ‘interpreter was late’, accounting for nearly a third of the 430 complaints between April and June. Of complaints on 'interpreter quality' 30 were ‘proven’.

Mohammed Alfrouh is on trial accused of three counts of sexual assault and Omar Badreddin and Mohammed Allakkoud both deny a count of sexual assault.

A jury has been shown two “major” errors in interpreting the police interview of one of three Syrians accused of sex assaults on two 14-year-old schoolgirls in a park.

Jurors have been told to ignore the original transcript of the 20-year-old Mohammed Alfrouh’s interview with detectives, and were read a re-translated version of what the Arabic-speaker said.

The married defendant denies three counts of sexual assault said to have been committed at Leazes Park, Newcastle, on two schoolgirls in May.

Co-accused 18-year-olds Omar Badreddin and Mohammed Allakkoud deny a single charge of sexual assault.

The Inns of Court College of Advocacy, ICCA (formerly the ATC) has launched of a suite of training materials which focusses on foreign languages in court and the effective use of interpreters. This research project has been carried out by the ICCA's Research and Development Committee in conjunction with Middlesex and Surrey Universities and funded by The Legal Education Foundation (LEF). 

A series of training films have been created to demonstrate good practice and the pitfalls of poor practice when working with interpreters, along with three additional short clips to explain the most common problems encountered by advocates. Please find them below.


Comment (0) Hits: 100

Monidipa Fouzder’s report on interpreting is, as usual, telling in this still neglected field.

My only cavil is to read of Capita’s delivery of interpreting services ever being described as a success. As previously identified, the Ministry of Justice merely parrots Capita’s self-interested and specious claims of improvements.

Speak to those who continue to log serial non-delivery and mediocrity in our courts and they will laugh at you.

Why are those of us who have campaigned so long and hard over this less than surprised that Capita is bowing out?

As identified at a recent Foreign Affairs Committee session by chair John Baron, the importance of an interpreter’s role goes far beyond domestic considerations. A recognition of such an underpinning need as proper interpreting provision at the time of the Iraqi misadventure might at least have mitigated the disaster which then ensued.

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