Thursday, 28 February 2013

No interpreter 
February 28, 2013

"The magistrates adjourned the case until March 5 for an interpreter to be present and until then released Nowakowski on bail with conditions not to contact the victim except via a third party for child contact and not to go to a specified address in Dwelly Close, Chard."

Monday, 25 February 2013

PQ - 25 February 2013 

25 February 2013 
Crown Prosecution Service: Interpreters 

Emily Thornberry (Islington South and Finsbury, Labour) 
To ask the Attorney-General what proportion of interpreters used by Crown Prosecution Service witness care units in (a) Lancashire, (b) Staffordshire, (c) West Yorkshire and (d) the West Midlands were provided by Capita TI since September 2012.

Oliver Heald (Solicitor General; North East Hertfordshire, Conservative)
Records held by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are not sufficiently detailed to calculate the proportion of interpreters used by witness care units in Lancashire, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands provided by Capita TI since September 2012.
However, the proportion of interpreters used by the CPS between September 2012 and December 2012 in North West area, West Midlands area and Yorkshire and Humberside area provided by Capita TI was 56%.

Government cuts ‘destroying’ Britain’s criminal justice system 
25 February 2013 by Alex Varley-Winter

Government cuts ‘destroying’ Britain’s criminal justice system
Delays following the privatisation of court services are costing the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds, the chairman of the Criminal Bar Association has warned.
Britain’s criminal justice system is being destroyed by Government cuts and changes to the way courts are run, said Michael Turner QC, who represents 3,600 lawyers as the chairman of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA).
Turner claims taxpayers’ money is being squandered, injustices covered up and the judiciary ‘muzzled’ by ministers obsessed with secrecy.
He said: “If you put a contract in place with a private supplier you’ve got to monitor its effectiveness. Otherwise you don’t know that it’s doing what it says it’s doing, which is saving the taxpayer money.”
He told Exaro: “It costs a £110 a minute to run a courtroom with a jury. Every minute of delay is costing someone further down the line. Bench delays are so endemic in our court system now.
“The taxpayer is picking up the tab on a bill that the taxpayer never sees, because GEOAmey, the company charged with bringing prisoners to court, can’t deliver; because Applied Language Solutions supply translators who can’t speak the language that they’re required to.”
[…] Three weeks ago, Exaro revealed that MPs had suggested that that the MoJ was in “contempt”, such was the extent to which it had hampered an investigation into shortcomings of translation services for courts.
Turner is also concerned about growing secrecy in the judicial system: “Look at the other pieces of legislation that the government is seeking to introduce, secrecy in the courtroom, which is designed to protect the government from the revelation that they’ve been involved in extraordinary rendition and torture.”
He believes the government should not be allowed to interfere in courts on security grounds, as they can already be closed at the judge’s discretion: “There are all sorts of protections for these witnesses [from the secret service] that are absolutely satisfactory.
“In five years’ time, you will not have a justice system that will allow people to expose the dreadful lies that were told in the Hillsborough case, because they won’t be there, the lawyers will have gone.” […]

Friday, 22 February 2013

No Vietnamese interpreter yet again! 
22 February 2013 
[...] "Duong Van Nguyen, who cannot speak English, had his first formal court hearing yesterday in connection with a cannabis farm which was found at a flat in Sunderland Road, South Shields, last Thursday.
 Yesterday was the 19-year-old’s fourth time at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court since then, but no progress was made on the other occasions because there were no interpreters available at court."

21 February 2013
[...] "But the 19-year-old’s case was adjourned because there was no interpreter at court for the Vietnamese and it was relisted on Monday.
No translator was at court that day and the court adjourned again until yesterday – when the same thing happened.
Nguyen, of no fixed abode, was due back before magistrates today when an interpreter was booked for a 2pm appearance. […]
Kayleigh Helens, defending, told the court that she had managed to speak to the defendant – using an interpreter over the telephone – and explained what was happening.
She said: “The situation is regrettable. I hope it is resolved tomorrow.”