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Welsh Language

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Attorney-General in what ways his Department gives recognition to the Welsh language; and if he will list the statutory forms used by his Department which are either bilingual or have Welsh versions.

My Department has little occasion to recognise the Welsh language, but when I am called on to nominate council in a case which I have reason to believe may be partially or wholly conducted in Welsh, I nominate one who is Welsh speaking. My Department uses no statutory forms. All formal documents, such as consents to prosecutions, are in English.

asked the Attorney-General whether he is satisfied with the operation of the Welsh Language Act 1967 in the courts of Wales; and if he will make a statement on the provision of simultaneous translation facilities in courtrooms in Wales.

Yes, but if the hon. Member is aware of any ground for complaint, no doubt he will let the Lord Chancellor know. Simultaneous translation facilities are available in courtrooms at Cardiff, Carmarthen and Mold and are due to come into use at Caernarvon in March. A panel of interpreters is available at all courts for which the Lord Chancellor is responsible in Wales.