The Changing Concept of Justice
I had a message from the South West HMCT admin centre this morning, they were looking for an interpreter for today. I called them back some time later and was told that the court had decided to proceed without an interpreter on this occasion. I couldn't get any more details from them.
The worrying thing is that so many courts nowadays make the choice to proceed without an interpreter. Everybody in court is fed up with waiting for the elusive linguist and many feel that having no interpreter would be exactly the same as having an ALS linguist present - and who can blame them, with so many of the new breed of unqualified, unvetted and inexperienced 'interpreters' sitting in the dock in complete silence, looking like rabbits caught in the headlights. Is this decision in the interest of justice? More importantly, does anybody care about justice anymore?
The MoJ Framework Agreement has done a great deal more than put a lot of professionals out of business and inflict chaos in court and at a huge cost to the taxpayer: it has changed the concept of justice across England and Wales; it has changed ideas and expectations of what constitutes a fair trial. How long is it going to take to repair this damage?