SIR – Your report on the costs of providing interpreters (September 1) reminds me of the time I was chairing a domestic violence case in Newbury magistrates’ court between a married couple from Slough.
On 31st August 2020 you published an article by Sophie Barnes the title of which was “Translation work for foreign crime suspects costs UK £450,000 a week” and its first paragraph read “Government officials have spent £450,000 a week on language experts to provide translation services to foreign-speaking criminals and people caught up in the UK’s legal system.”
Please provide a copy of any instructions issued by the UK government/Ministry of Justice/Public Health England or other relevant authorities to be used by courts in England and Wales in relation to ensuring a 2 meter / 1+ meter distance for face-to-face interpreters working with defendants and witnesses in view of the COVID-19 situation. Please provide a copy of any relevant guidelines in line of Question 1 above in respect of any PPE interpreters are to be supplied with when working for HMCTS directly or via contracting agencies.
Monidipa Fouzder’s report on interpreting is, as usual, telling in this still neglected field
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