How courts cope with ALS contractors
A colleague I spoke to a few days ago attended a local magistrates court recently, for the first time since 30th January. To his astonishment, he found that everyone in court - the clerk, the magistrates, the lawyers - spoke extremely slowly and distinctly, trying very hard not to use any complex language - all for the sake of the interpreter! They acted as if they were dealing with a person with learning difficulties and not with a professional interpreter. It was obvious that this was a newly acquired habit as a result of having to work through ALS linguists in the recent months. An example of what looks like more a TV comedy than an English court in the 21st century.
Another colleague reports of an interpreter who is registered with ALS but he picks and chooses all his jobs and will cancel an ALS job for a better paid one any time, including if the courts call him direct. And we know that courts continue calling us direct, this is the kind of an "emergency" measure the Ministry of Justice introduced in mid February, two weeks into the start of the ALS contract. More than 4 months later, the emergency measures are still in place. Only how can they be categorised as emergencies for such a substantial period of time? Perhaps it's time to give ALS a chance to prove that they can now fully deliver their "improved" service under the contract?