Scottish court interpreting system: a bad example to follow?
During the first Public Accounts Committee hearing Martin Jones of the MoJ assured the Committee that in their run-up to awarding the contract they had reviewed interpreting rates in other countries and gave the example of Scotland with even lower rates. This website has already published a letter sent to another committee, Justice Select Committee, by the Scottish Interpreters and Translators Association to highlight the sorry state of affairs in the Scottish court interpreting system since it was outsourced to a commercial provider.
A few weeks ago there was an article in the Daily Record, pointing to the fact that a rapists’ victim was forced to relive her ordeal twice in court – due to a bungling interpreter. Evidence was not being relayed correctly, forcing the case to be abandoned. And the BBC told another story when a defendant accused of violent attacks on three children in Dundee had to give instructions to his lawyer using a smart phone translation application because no translator was brought to court to interpret for him.
Last week the Scottish Court Service provided a detailed answer to a Freedom of Information request on the number of interpreters used with and without a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting on court assignments, as well as on the number of court cases where the interpreting performance had an effect on the proceedings. The full answer can be read here. It speaks for itself. Is this something England and Wales decided to copy as a good example?