First they came for the interpreters, then the lawyers
The Ministry of Justice seems to think that justice is something that comes at a price, not something that has an intrinsic non-pecuniary value. Ever since the coalition government got its foot in the door of the MoJ in Petty France, their primary concern seems to have been to save money, not to ensure that justice – that nebulous, non-quantifiable concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity or fairness, as well as the administration of the law – is administered fairly and equitably.
It started with interpreting services for courts and tribunals (posts passim), a topic this blog has been monitoring closely for many months.
That saga began with then Justice Minister Crispin Blunt erroneously describing court interpreters as ‘grossly overpaid‘ and ‘taking advantage of the system’ as justification for handing the consistently underperforming Capita/ALS. What started as a scheme intended to save £18 mn. a year out of an annual budget of £60 mn. is having the opposite effect as justice is denied, delayed or provided at increased cost to the public purse as trials are delayed due to underqualified or unqualified interpreters being provided, interpreters not turning up at all and defendants being remanded in custody.