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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Criminal Legal Aid Manual: Guidance on Interpreter Costs

Guidance on Interpreter Costs has been published by the Legal Aid Agency in the Criminal Legal Aid Manual as of 29th March 2016:

24 Annex G: Interpreters Costs 

Pre-court work

If it has been necessary for a solicitor to incur interpreter’s costs to assist with work carried out before the first court hearing and even perhaps before charge, the Justices could order payment from central funds, applying the judgment of Lord Justice Auld in R (on the application of Hale) v North Sefton Justices [2002] EWHC 257 (Admin).

Auld defined ‘proceedings’ very broadly for the purposes of the court agreeing payment from central funds for pre-court work. The question was whether it could reasonably be said that the advice being sought/given was ‘in the proceedings’ even though a charge had not yet been preferred.

Solicitors who want to submit a claim for pre-court work should agree it with a court officer beforehand. This is current practice when claiming on central funds.

Cost of interpreters in court proceedings

Where the police or other investigating agency charge a person with an offence and detain or bail that person for a magistrates' court hearing within two working days of charge (i.e. the following day or over a weekend or Bank Holiday), the police or investigating agency will arrange the interpreter for the court hearing. It is important that so far as possible the interpreter arranged for court is not the one who interpreted at the police station either for the police or the applicant's solicitors at any stage prior to the court appearance. If however it is not possible to find another interpreter (i.e. the language is rare) then the Court and all parties must be notified of the intention to use the same interpreter for the court proceedings and agree to that course of action.

Where the court appearance is more than two working days (not including Saturdays) after the charge or summons, it is the responsibility of the court to arrange for an interpreter if an applicant requires one.

In both instances, the interpreter's costs will be paid for by the court out of central funds.

If an applicant requires an interpreter for Crown Court proceedings, the court is responsible for arranging the attendance and payment of an independent interpreter (Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.19(3)(b)). This is then paid out of central funds.

Cost of interpreters in investigation stage

If an interpreter is required when a solicitor is giving advice during the investigation stage of a case, the interpreter’s costs may be included as a disbursement when claiming for payment under the 2010 Standard Crime Contract.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Open consultation: Revising PACE codes C, D and H


Open consultation
Revising PACE codes C, D and H

First published: 23 March 2016
Last updated: 24 March 2016, see all updates
Part of: Policing

This consultation closes at 17 May 2016 11:45pm

Consultation on proposed changes to PACE codes C, D and H which concern the rights of a suspect in police custody.

Consultation description
These draft versions of codes of practice C, D and H are being circulated for consultation in accordance with section 67(4) of PACE.
  • code C concerns the detention, treatment and questioning of persons detained under PACE
  • code D concerns identification by witnesses and the taking of fingerprints, DNA, photographs and other biometric information
  • code H concerns persons detained under the terrorism provisions
Responses must be received no later than Tuesday 17 May 2016.

Ways to respond

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Lammy Review of BAME representation in the Criminal Justice System: call for evidence


Lammy Review of BAME representation in the Criminal Justice System: call for evidence

In January 2016 the Prime Minister invited David Lammy MP to find out why official figures show that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups appear to be over-represented at most stages of the criminal justice system, and what can be done about it.

This is an independent review. It aims to make sure that everyone is treated equally, whatever their ethnicity.

The review will look at the way the CJS deals with young people and adults from BAME backgrounds. It will address issues arising from the Crown Prosecution Service onwards, including the court system, prisons and young offender institutions and rehabilitation in the community. The findings should be published in spring 2017.

The review will be evidence-based. It will draw on the significant work already published in this area; it will produce new statistical analysis to shed light on the issue; and it will provide an opportunity for people to convey their personal experiences and insights.

David Lammy wants to hear from a diverse range of voices:
  • victims and witnesses
  • ex-offenders
  • those working in the CJS
  • academics and NGOs
  • different BAME communities and
  • different parts of both England and Wales.
How you can take part
The Call for Evidence provides the main way for organisations and individuals to share views, evidence and insights. Everything submitted to the Call for Evidence will be read.

Alternatively, there is a Twitter hashtag – #lammyreview – which will allow people to make more informal contributions. This hashtag will be monitored throughout the review.

Key Dates
Runs from 21 Mar 2016 to 30 Jun 2016

Saturday, 19 March 2016

"adjourned so that an interpreter can be present"

19 March 2016

FENTON: A 41-YEAR-OLD man charged with assaulting a police officer and possession of cocaine has had his case adjourned.
District Judge Jack McGarva adjourned the case against Mahmadan Bah, of Hitchman Street, Fenton, so that an interpreter can be present at his next hearing.
Bah, who is accused of committing the alleged offences in November, was unconditionally bailed to appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on March 21.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

PQs: 8th March 2016


Home Office: Interpreters
Home Office written question – answered on 8th March 2016.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultations they have held, if any, about the rates of pay of interpreters contracted to work for the Home Office Interpreter Operations Unit, and what the outcome of those consultations has been.

Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department, Deputy Chairman of Committees
In November 2015 the Interpreter Operations Unit wrote to all interpreters registered to work on behalf of the Home Office informing them of plans to change their rates of pay from January 2016. Some discussions were held with interpreter representatives in December 2015. All proposed changes are currently on hold pending a further internal review of existing pay and conditions. This review will take place in 2016/17.

Home Office: Interpreters
Home Office written question – answered on 8th March 2016.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the announcement by the Home Office in January, whether a fundamental review of interpreter services has been commissioned, and if so, what are its terms of reference and timetable.

Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department, Deputy Chairman of Committees
An internal review of interpretation service provision is planned to commence during 2016/17. No specific actions have taken place thus far.