Barrister: FWA still 'utterly useless'
I currently represent a Greek national on serious drugs charges. On four occasions (so far) no interpreter has appeared. I assisted twice but have since refused to be the paper for the cracks in the system. On the 5th occasion Capita failed to provide a Greek (not some obscure Mali dialect) interpreter and the court went direct to an independent one. Obviously the delays and aborted hearings cost more than employing an interpreter now for a whole year full time.
I can also supply details re a Turkish client (attempted murder) where the Capita interpreter had never even been to a court before, had received no training and didn't appreciate they needed to translate everything.
I don't know of a single barrister who doesn't think the new system is utterly useless and that standards have fallen with either obvious delays or less obvious slower-running cases.
UPDATE received on 12th June 2013:
The Greek client was at court yesterday. No Capita interpreter. The court had to go back to the old system. The judge made a wasted costs order against Capita for the proper interpreter's fee (£250 including travel).