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Courts: Interpreters

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 61150, tabled on 22 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the frequency with which bi-lingual individuals with no public service interpreting qualifications or training are given interpreting responsibilities in courts for Standard assignments.

Answered on

27 October 2021

The Ministry of Justice has a predetermined set of requirements for linguists, developed to meet the interests of justice. The level was agreed at the start of the contract by judiciary and subject matter experts for each commissioning body.

The MoJ regularly reviews the assigned complexity level attributed to assignment types. The discretion to amend the complexity assigned to a booking is afforded where there is judicial direction to do so, or by those officials acting with delegated authority. This is decided on a case-by-case basis to meet the requirements of the specific booking.

HMCTS - Volume By Complexity & Calendar Year

Year

Complexity

Volume

2017

Standard

25,899

2017

Complex

104,382

2017

Complex Written

3,766

2018

Standard

26,230

2018

Complex

101,539

2018

Complex Written

4,125

2019

Standard

27,520

2019

Complex

100,720

2019

Complex Written

5,687

2020

Standard

27,113

2020

Complex

69,058

2020

Complex Written

4,046

The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring the justice system is supported by a suite of high- quality language service contracts, that meet the needs of all those that require them.

Language professionals provided by our contracted language service providers are sourced from the Ministry’s register. Only language professionals that meet the Ministry’s contractual requirements are included on the register, which is managed and audited by an independent language service provider, The Language Shop.

The contract has a clearly defined list of qualifications, skills, experience and vetting requirements language professionals must meet, which have been designed to meet the needs of the justice system.

All interpreters are also required to complete a justice system specific training course before they are permitted to join the ministry’s interpreter register.

The full details of the standards required for our Language Professionals is set out in our contracts, which can be found at the following link:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/975cb99e-fec6-430f-8f31-fd532a907137

The Language Shop make regular and independent assessments of language professionals carrying out assignments via the Ministry’s language services contracts, to ensure they meet the requirements of the contract between the Ministry and the supplier.

Named day
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