Privateers and cuts cause chaos for justice system
The privatisation of court and tribunal interpreting services means the justice system is descending "into chaos," union Unite warned today.
Since the agreement between the Ministry of Justice and Applied Language Solutions (ALS) - a subsidiary of privateer Capita - earlier this year 90 per cent of registered public service interpreters have refused to sign up to ALS.
They are concerned about pay cuts and terms and conditions as well as the interests of justice.
Unite and five other professional interpreting organisations are to launch a campaign this week to get the service brought back in-house.
Unite national officer Sally Kosky said: "The courts system is descending into chaos, as suspects are not being informed of their rights and defendants are unable to instruct their barristers. Collapsed trials and miscarriages of justice are on the cards.
"ALS does not have the skilled linguists to facilitate the smooth-running of the justice system."