Thursday, 6 June 2013

Shambolic proceedings in magistrates’ courts must be rectified 
6 Jun 2013 

SIR – The latest move by the Government to reduce legal aid costs, although admirable, is unlikely to succeed if the record of the Ministry of Justice is anything to go by. In early 2012, the ministry contracted out the provision of court interpreters to Applied Language Services, which were soon bought out by Capita. 
Those in the ministry ignored the advice given by a variety of professional bodies.
Subsequently, the contract was subject to two House of Commons select committee investigations. The chairman of one of the committees found that: “The Ministry of Justice’s handling of the outsourcing of court interpreting services has been nothing short of shambolic.”
Since the contract started, countless trials have had to be adjourned due to interpreters failing to attend. Despite protestations from judges, magistrates, barristers and court staff, the ministry continues with the contract. 
Nigel D Moore 
Devauden, Monmouthshire

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