Courts: Translation Services

Justice written question – answered on 25th March 2013.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will review (a) how many people have been wrongly convicted and (b) the number of potentially guilty people acquitted as a result of errors by translators employed under the ALS/Capita contract; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

We have no plan at present to undertake any review of convictions or acquittals in interpreter court cases.

The judiciary is responsible for ensuring that defendants get a fair hearing. If there are any issues with interpretation the judge will stop the proceedings and resolve those issues. The Ministry of Justice monitors performance under the contract, which has an associated complaints system. Only a very small proportion of complaints relate to the quality of the interpreter. We have received no complaints that wrong convictions have been made as a result of problems with interpreters.

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