One word: shambles
SOUTHWARK CROWN COURT - 23rd May 2014 serious matter listed not before 11am. No interpreter until 10.50 could be found therefore no assistance with conference with client and counsel. Into Court and started lengthy sentence hearing interupted by Jury returning in another matter and delayed until 12.30 ish. Returned to court and interpreter announces that he has to leave by 1pm. Case started but unable to finish and further interpreter sought. 2.15pm advised that only intepreter available was unqualified and without court experience. Further delays until about 3.30 when Court sat and considered adjourning case. All parties huge inconvenience and court empty for most of afternoon. An interpreter never arrived and we proceeded to sentence in the absence of interpreter and agreement of client. Lengthy conference will be required in prison with registered intepreter and full notes to explain sentence. Additional costs for all concerned. The last hearing at Southwark CC we have already complained that no interpreter arrived. That was simply a mention hearing and we managed after some delay and costs of empty courtroom. I am writing to the MP and the Court about this and lodging a formal complaint.
There was a case I did in Northampton last year with 4 Columbian clients and multiple charges. Two interpreters arrived and refused to attend the cells for conference. Again one had to leave at lunchtime, delayed again and hours spent for counsel and prison staff while clients were seen. SHAMBLES.