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Translation Services: Northern Ireland

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the National Framework Agreement on arrangements for the use of interpreters, translators and language service professionals within the criminal justice system applies to Northern Ireland. (283694)

The “National Agreement on Arrangements for the Use of Interpreters and Translators in the Criminal Justice System” only applies to provision within England and Wales. In Northern Ireland, a joint contract has been established between relevant criminal justice organisations and the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (for face-to-face interpretation) and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (for sign language). This aims to enhance consistency in how interpretation is used across the criminal justice system by setting out the specific requirements of each partner organisation which is underpinned by individual organisational guidance. The contract provides flexibility for the use of interpreters registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (England and Wales), where particular requirements cannot be met locally.