Sunday, 1 July 2012

Individuals badly affected by current interpreting services

Individuals badly affected by current interpreting services

A number of organisations are looking for cases in which individuals caught up in the criminal justice system have been prejudiced by the failure of the provision of interpreting services. For example:

  • Cases where an individual has been wrongly/unsafely convicted in a trial where interpreting services demonstrably failed to reach the required standard
  • Cases where individuals have been wrongly/unlawfully detained as a result of the failure of an interpreter to attend the police station within the prescribed times
  • Cases where an individual has been kept on remand for a significantly longer period than he would otherwise have been because of a trial that has collapsed as a result of failure in interpreting services.
  • Cases where urgent Court proceedings (injunction proceedings etc) have had to be adjourned because of interpreting failings.
  • Cases where trials have collapsed and prosecutions dropped as a result of failings in interpretation (and thus the victims of crime have been prejudiced)
  • Immigrations tribunal cases where individuals have successfully appealed decisions on the basis of flawed interpreting.

In particular, however, we are looking for cases where the individuals who have been affected have taken or are taking some sort of legal action to redress the failings identified. This might be:

  • In the case of flawed interpreting at a criminal trial, a criminal appeal.
  • In the case of wrongful/unlawful detention, a claim for damages for false imprisonment
  • In the case of a victim of crime who has seen a prosecution collapse, a formal complaint sent to the IPCC or Court Service
  • In the cases of an asylum seeker who has been prejudiced at his immigration appeal, a successful appeal to the UTT or Court of Appeal

Evidence of legal action flowing from the failings will provide us with particularly cogent evidence that the system is failing. If such cases can be identified, it would be helpful if the following details could be sent to Leigh Day & Co so that they might follow-up with the lawyers and individuals involved:

1. The nature of the identified failure and, if it is a legal case, the details/title of the case.
2. The nature of the steps (legal action etc) taken in response to the failure (and the details/title of the case if available).
3. The identity of the lawyers acting (preferably the name of the firm of solicitors representing the affected individual) and, unless there are reporting restrictions, the identity of the individual involved.

Click this link for details of the Unlawful Detention Campaign and see how you can help.

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