Justice for Sale - Chaos in the Courts
At the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), ‘privatisation’ seems to equate nicely with ‘efficient public services’. From private-run jails to forensic services, the justice system is up for grabs, without mention of the government’s current plans for secret courts or the Legal Aid bill working its way through parliament right now.
Last summer, legal interpreting services joined the fray, when in August a framework agreement was signed between the MoJ and Applied Language Solutions Ltd (ALS), a private language service provider, to cover courts, the Crown Prosecution Service, prisons and the police. Following a year-long procurement procedure, this five-year contract worth £300 million was anticipated to save over £60 million during that period. Previously, interpreters were hired using the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI), which has over 2,000 qualified and registered interpreters, following a rigorous registration procedure.