In the UK, we have already had cases where gross injustice has occurred because of a lack of proper translation during trials (see the infamous Satpal Ram case here… and here… where Bengali witness testimony was not translated because of a lack of an interpreter and the judge said that the court would ‘get the gist’ of their vital testimony with him translating even though he didn’t speak Bengali.) Now cuts to the justice system risk even greater, and more frequent injustice with cuts to the interpreter service. It cannot be underestimated how important it is for the suspect/defendant to be able to know what is being said, and for the authorities and juries etc. to understand exactly what the defendant is saying.
Read BBC news item here:
“The government is hoping to save £18m a year by changing how interpreters are provided for court hearings – but it is said the new system is causing chaos and costly delays.”
And the fallout, just two weeks into the new private interpreter contract: