Skip to main content

Courts (Interpreters)

Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Attorney-General what arrangements are made to ensure that defendants whose language is not English are provided with interpreters in Crown courts.

The defendant in any criminal proceedings who, because of his lack of English, requires an interpreter is able to select a suitable person to act in this capacity or to approve the appointment of an interpreter suggested by the court or the prosecution, and the expenses properly incurred on the employment of such a person are paid by the court out of central funds. There are separate arrangements governing the use of Welsh in courts in Wales, and for information on this subject I would refer the hon. Member to a statement made on the subject in another place on 12th June 1973.

asked the Attorney-General what arrangements are made to test interpreters' skill and ability and to ensure that they possess adequate knowledge of legal terminology in the languages required.

None, since the acceptability of an interpreter is the responsibility of the party requiring his services. The court would intervene if it was not satisfied that the interpreter possessed the required abilities.

asked the Attorney-General on how many occasions during the past year—or the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available—interpreters have been required in Crown courts to translate to and from Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali or Hindi.