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The right to an interpreter in court

In 2016, roughly 150,000 requests were made for face-to-face language interpreter and translation services in England and Wales. 97% of these requests were successful.

Unless the case is privately funded, the MoJ obliges to provide these services free of charge. Criminal proceedings make up the majority, followed by tribunal and then civil requests. But calling this a ‘right’ is to stray into murky territory; viewing this more as a ‘custom’ might be more appropriate. While there is no legal right to an interpreter in court, if you ask for one, you will most likely gain access to one.

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