Courts: Interpreters

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th December 2017.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, since the contract out of services to provide interpreters to all courts what the estimated number of unfulfilled or cancelled cases was in each year in (a) England and Wales and (b) each region.

Photo of Phillip Lee Phillip Lee The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

We do not collect the relevant data for all jurisdictions and types of hearings in which interpreters are used. However, information on the number of trials listed in the criminal courts which were adjourned (ineffective) due to interpreter availability was published in Criminal Court Statistics until 2016 and is now available at https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/crown-court-information/.

The breakdown for England and Wales is set out below:

Crown Courts

Magistrates’ Courts

Year

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

2012

38,432

34

0.1%

156,671

608

0.4%

2013

33,669

37

0.1%

155,087

591

0.4%

2014

35,974

26

0.1%

158,984

524

0.3%

2015

39,035

23

0.1%

162,668

474

0.3%

2016

37,339

30

0.1%

149,423

495

0.3%

2017*

25,451

24

0.1%

105,558

319

0.3%

* data to September 2017

This can be further broken down by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service region:

Crown Courts

Magistrates’ Courts

Year

Region

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

Number of trials

Adjourned due to interpreter availability

% of trials adjourned due to interpreter availability

2012

London

10,632

16

0.2%

35,410

270

0.8%

Midlands

5,425

4

0.1%

26,570

94

0.4%

North East

5,450

3

0.1%

22,532

59

0.3%

North West

5,334

3

0.1%

23,909

58

0.2%

South East

6,654

5

0.1%

26,236

95

0.4%

South West

3,310

2

0.1%

13,850

18

0.1%

Wales

1,827

1

0.1%

8,164

14

0.2%

2013

London

9,151

14

0.2%

36,866

259

0.7%

Midlands

4,878

6

0.1%

25,170

102

0.4%

North East

5,067

6

0.1%

23,088

74

0.3%

North West

4,625

3

0.1%

21,783

40

0.2%

South East

5,614

5

0.1%

26,834

76

0.3%

South West

2,718

3

0.1%

12,850

27

0.2%

Wales

1,616

0

0.0%

8,496

13

0.2%

2014

London

9,202

11

0.1%

35,715

222

0.6%

Midlands

5,156

3

0.1%

27,397

87

0.3%

North East

5,498

3

0.1%

22,572

65

0.3%

North West

5,219

1

0.0%

22,747

38

0.2%

South East

6,390

7

0.1%

27,892

78

0.3%

South West

2,947

1

0.0%

14,283

28

0.2%

Wales

1,562

0

0.0%

8,378

6

0.1%

2015

London

10,161

4

0.0%

36,743

175

0.5%

Midlands

5,532

1

0.0%

27,722

78

0.3%

North East

5,504

3

0.1%

22,697

43

0.2%

North West

5,448

1

0.0%

22,335

48

0.2%

South East

7,357

7

0.1%

29,671

87

0.3%

South West

3,286

6

0.2%

15,303

34

0.2%

Wales

1,747

1

0.1%

8,197

9

0.1%

2016

London

10,055

12

0.1%

34,074

200

0.6%

Midlands

5,389

4

0.1%

28,295

75

0.3%

North East

5,444

2

0.0%

21,553

61

0.3%

North West

4,943

1

0.0%

20,307

52

0.3%

South East

6,986

8

0.1%

26,173

75

0.3%

South West

2,802

2

0.1%

11,396

27

0.2%

Wales

1,720

1

0.1%

7,625

5

0.1%

2017*

London

6,596

7

0.1%

22,922

134

0.6%

Midlands

4,183

3

0.1%

19,572

41

0.2%

North East

4,056

4

0.1%

14,747

27

0.2%

North West

3,393

3

0.1%

15,528

48

0.3%

South East

4,944

4

0.1%

18,751

35

0.2%

South West

2,093

3

0.1%

8,504

24

0.3%

Wales

1,186

0

0.0%

5,534

10

0.2%

* data to September 2017

The department continues to monitor its language service services contract closely with the suppliers to drive improvements and reduce the cost on the taxpayer.

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