Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Interpretation Problems in UK Courts
A month or so ago we wrote about new cuts to court interpreting and translating in the UK. In that post we mentioned how dangerous this can be. Well it appears that what we warned of has come to be. A senior magistrate, Peter Beeke, is speaking out against the cuts.
Beeke reports that major delays due to no interpreters being available are occurring more frequently, when before they would be very rare. Some trials have even been cancelled due to the lack of interpreters.
In addition to delays in the courtroom, Beeke claims that people have been kept in jail longer than proper because the idea of conditional bail could not be adequately explained to them.
While Applied Language Solutions is saying that these issues are “transitional,” it is hard to see how they can be resolved quickly without simply reinstating the original compensation to translators and interpreters. It seems that the main issue is that people just aren’t as willing to work for ALS, and understandably so considering how much less they are being paid.
ALS is playing with fire here. Delays are one thing, but out and out cancellation of trials is plain and simple obstruction of justice. This is an easily solved problem and until it’s fixed, the UK government is not holding up their end of the legal bargain.