23 Apr 2012
Alan Whitehead (Southampton, Test, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that unregistered interpreters working in Crown and magistrates courts are identified and prosecuted.
Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Prisons and Probation), Justice; Reigate, Conservative)
Under the Ministry of Justice's Contract for Language Services, the contractor must:
ensure that an interpreter/translator of the appropriate agreed standard (qualifications, experience and vetting) is provided for each individual assignment;
ensure that all interpreters/translators can verify their identity and credentials to the relevant justice sector organisations for every assignment;
ensure adherence to a code of conduct for interpreters/translators and any other rules or guidelines set by central Government; and
have in place robust procedures to deal with poor quality interpretation/translation and inappropriate behaviour.
The contractor has a formal investigation process for dealing with every reported issue. If the quality of any linguist is in question, the contractor will carry out the quality checks as highlighted in the investigation. Following this investigation they will either change the qualification status of the linguist while they carry out or recommend additional training or they will discontinue their engagement and strike them off the register.