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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Plymouth Czech people trafficking trial delayed again

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-Czech-people-trafficking-trial-delayed/story-26260008-detail/story.html 
31 March 2015

Plymouth Czech people trafficking trial delayed again
The trial of five Czechs accused of trafficking men into Britain has been further delayed.
The jury was today due to hear further evidence against two men and three women, members of an extended Roma family, who allegedly housed compatriots in their homes for economic exploitation.
The hearing was first adjourned on Monday because of concerns about one of the interpreters.
Judge Darlow told the jury that the court had “very serious concerns as to the quality and fairness of the interpretation” provided by the interpreter assisting alleged trafficking victim Josef Bukovinsky.
The case has now been further put off until tomorrow.


Monday, 30 March 2015

Czech trafficking trial halted at Plymouth court over interpreter

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Czech-trafficking-trial-halted-Plymouth-court/story-26254899-detail/story.html 
30 March 2015

Czech trafficking trial halted at Plymouth court over interpreter
The trial of five Czechs accused of trafficking men into Britain has been adjourned after concerns were raised about one of the interpreters.
Two men and three women, members of an extended Roma family, are facing a jury at Plymouth Crown Court for allegedly housing compatriots in their homes for economic exploitation.
But the court was told this afternoon that the case would have to be postponed until tomorrow.
One of the men who was allegedly trafficked, Josef Bukovinsky, is giving evidence from behind a screen.
Judge Paul Darlow said to the jury: “We have very serious concerns as to the quality and fairness of the interpretation we are being offered.
“That complaint has come from a number of different independent sources, in that the interpreter who is interpreting Josef’s evidence is not doing so professionally and fairly. We must have absolutely reliable interpretation.
“The long and the short of it is that another interpreter has to be organised for the witness.”
The panel was sent home until 2pm tomorrow.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

PI4J email re CCS Language Services Framework Agreement


PI4J email re CCS Language Services Framework Agreement
Email sent on behalf of Professional Interpreters for Justice (PI4J) to Crown Commercial Service (CCS) on 25 March 2015

Re CCS Language Services Framework Agreement
We are given to understand that the CCS will be moving forward with the tendering of the Framework Agreement (FWA) before the 30th March, without further consultation with or input from interpreters and their representative bodies.
PI4J wishes to make it clear that it cannot support any arrangements or FWA which does not fully take into consideration all our submissions in respect of minimum professional qualifications for Public Service Interpreters (PSI) and BSL/English Interpreters, Deaf interpreters and Sign Language translators, mandatory NRPSI/NRCPD/SASLI registration, and independent regulation and quality and performance auditing.
Without these safeguards, access to justice will be denied and human rights and race relations will be jeopardised.
Robust standards need to be set and vigorously enforced in order to protect the public and those we serve, which include many vulnerable people, victims and witnesses in the community and justice sector. They must be afforded equal access to the highest levels of linguistic support.
In addition, we reiterate that in order to attract and retain qualified and experienced professional interpreters and language professionals, equitable and sustainable terms and conditions need to be put in place.
Our members have demonstrated in the last three years – since the Ministry of Justice’s outsourcing of the courts’ language services – that they can and will refuse to work for low rates set by so-called ‘market forces’, thereby significantly reducing the pool of qualified interpreters and translators available to work in the public services.
Any arrangements and/or framework agreement that may significantly impact on the delivery of communication and language services in the public sector and especially in the justice sector, must be designed with the utmost care and with full and adequate consultation with interpreters and language professionals and their representative bodies.
However, consultation without the implementation of our input is meaningless.
We refer you to the guidance set out in the National Agreement (NA) for the Use of Interpreters in the Criminal Justice System and its high standards of professional qualifications and registrations, which resulted from years of policy development, consultation and cooperation between members of the justice sector, their language services, interpreters, interpreters’ representative bodies and academic institutions.
Full support of professional interpreters is the only way forward to ensure the quality and success of any future arrangements for the provision of language services in the public service sectors.
FYI, please see attached a copy of the PI4J Manifesto which further details what we stand for.
For and on behalf of the Professional Interpreters for Justice

Professional Interpreters for Justice (PI4J) Member Organisations:
Association of Police and Court Interpreters (APCI) – chairman@apciinterpreters.org.uk
Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru (CCC) – geraint@cyfieithwyrcymru.org.uk
Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) – chiefexec@iti.org.uk
National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) – chairman@nrpsi.org.uk
National Union of Professional Interpreters and Translators, part of Unite the Union (NUPIT) – nupit@unitetheunion.org
National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters part of Unite the Union (NUBSLI) – branchsecretary@nubsli.com
Society of Official Metropolitan Interpreters UK Ltd (SOMI) – board@somiukltd.com
The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) – keith.moffitt@ciol.org.uk


Professional interpreters cannot support any arrangements or FWA which does not fully take into consideration all our submissions in respect of minimum professional qualifications for Public Service Interpreters (PSI) and BSL/English Interpreters, Deaf interpreters and Sign Language translators, mandatory NRPSI/NRCPD/SASLI registration, and independent regulation and quality and performance auditing.
Without these safeguards, access to justice will be denied and human rights and race relations will be jeopardised.
Robust standards need to be set and vigorously enforced in order to protect the public and those we serve, which include many vulnerable people, victims and witnesses in the community and justice sector. They must be afforded equal access to the highest levels of linguistic support.
In addition, we reiterate that in order to attract and retain qualified and experienced professional interpreters and language professionals, equitable and sustainable terms and conditions need to be put in place.
Our members have demonstrated in the last three years – since the Ministry of Justice’s outsourcing of the courts’ language services – that they can and will refuse to work for low rates set by so-called ‘market forces’, thereby significantly reducing the pool of qualified interpreters and translators available to work in the public services.
Any arrangements and/or framework agreement that may significantly impact on the delivery of communication and language services in the public sector and especially in the justice sector, must be designed with the utmost care and with full and adequate consultation with interpreters and language professionals and their representative bodies.
However, consultation without the implementation of our input is meaningless.
We refer you to the guidance set out in the National Agreement (NA) for the Use of Interpreters in the Criminal Justice System and its high standards of professional qualifications and registrations, which resulted from years of policy development, consultation and cooperation between members of the justice sector, their language services, interpreters, interpreters’ representative bodies and academic institutions.
Full support of professional interpreters is the only way forward to ensure the quality and success of any future arrangements for the provision of language services in the public service sectors.
FYI, please see below a link to the PI4J Manifesto which further details what we stand for.

Professional Interpreters for Justice manifesto MARCH 25, 2015
Professional Interpreters for Justice (PI4J) is an umbrella group representing over 2,000 interpreters from the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) and 300 British Sign Language interpreters.
Our aim is to work with government to ensure the quality of interpreting available to the Justice System.
Reliable communication provided by qualified professional interpreters and translators is an essential resource which ensures that justice and human rights are upheld for non-English Speakers and deaf people.
This is put at risk if standards are dropped and quality is sacrificed for profit.
Current government policy is to reduce costs by outsourcing services.

PI4J: What are we asking for?
1. The use of qualified interpreters
2. Full consultation with the interpreting profession
3. Sustainable terms and conditions to be offered to interpreters
4. Independent auditing of quality and performance
5. Independent regulators: Regulation and the maintenance of registers should not be in the hands of private providers
6. Minimum levels of interpreter qualification
7. Statutory protection of title

PI4J: What are we asking for?
1. The use of qualified interpreters: Only qualified and experienced Public Service Interpreters to be used within the current MoJ Languages Services Framework Agreement and in any future arrangements.
2. Full consultation with the interpreting profession: Future arrangements cannot succeed without the support of professional interpreters.
3. Sustainable terms and conditions to be offered to interpreters: to ensure the success of any future arrangements and quality of service.
4. Independent auditing of quality and performance: Credible scrutiny of contract management and adherence to its provisions is essential, and should be part of the role of an independent Quality Assurance and Quality Management body.
5. Independent regulators: Regulation and the maintenance of registers should not be in the hands of private providers. In line with government guidance, since 1 April 2011 the NRPSI has been a fully independent regulator of the profession, paid for by the interpreters and run solely in the public interest. PI4J is of the view that the NRCPD should also be independent.
6. Minimum levels of interpreter qualification: Interpreter training as well as language fluency with a minimum level of entry-level qualification must be required with skills maintained and developed through a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Provision should be put in place to encourage the supply of Rare Language interpreters.
7. Statutory protection of title: A working group must be set up to examine the feasibility of the introduction of statutory protection for the title of Public Service Interpreter.
Click here for link to full PI4J manifesto

Links:
Professional Interpreters for Justice (PI4J), includes links to Parliamentary hearings and dossiers of failings
RPSI Linguist Lounge and Professional Interpreters’ Alliance, collected news reports about the outsourcing of public service interpreting in the UK

Professional Interpreters for Justice - Manifesto

Professional Interpreters for Justice - Manifesto