No Farsi interpreter at Hatton Cross AIC
I attended an immigration tribunal (Hatton Cross near Heathrow Airport) this week. This was a direct booking via the Loughborough Interpreter Booking Team.
When I arrived, I was asked to wait in the relevant court room as there were 2 cases to be heard, the one for which I'd been booked was the second of the two.
A Farsi interpreter - from Capita TI - was booked for the first case.
The tribunal staff had to ring the agency when the Farsi interpreter hadn't arrived by 10:30-10:45 (the hearing was due to start at 10 a.m.). The agency staff said the interpreter had rung up to say he wasn't going to attend earlier that same morning. No reason was given by interpreter but also the agency staff didn't even have the courtesy to call the tribunal to inform them when their linguist cancelled at the last moment. Further, the case was listed for FOUR hours and had been repeatedly re-scheduled.
The appellant was understandably upset as was her legal representative. The judge was rather scathing about this interpreter and the agency. On the form for the case to be re-listed, the judge wrote that the interpreter had cancelled on the morning the hearing was due, without giving an explanation. He also said the interpreter cancelling at the last minute left the court no time to get a replacement via Loughborough, not even for a 2 pm slot as the case was listed for 4 hours. He also refused to let the appellant try to undergo cross-examination despite her English being not too bad. According to him, a short cross-examination or a long one might be detrimental to her case if she found she couldn't answer, or had mis-understood, a question. He said he'd prefer the case to be re-listed.
So the saga carries on....