Justice CommitteeWritten evidence from Ligia Xavier

The ALS contract has thrown the provision of legal interpreting to the courts in the UK into total chaos and as an experienced Portuguese Public Service interpreter, I deeply regret that our profession has been treated with such disregard and disrespect by the MoJ.

I have been working for the courts, police and immigration for the last 12 years and, since the ALS contract started last February, I have several times gone to my local Crown Courts (Isleworth and Kingston upon Thames) to observe the performance of ALS “linguists”.

I have reported all the instances of non attendance, poor performance and absence of a strict code of conduct to one of the sites created for interpreters to report their observations. I am sure that the Justice Committee will have access to all the material that has been compiled regarding ALS appalling record.

I do hope, together with most of my National Register colleagues who, since day one, have refused since to work for ALS, that your committee will have sufficient evidence to recommend the end of the ALS contract and enable only professional and National Register interpreters to work in the UK courts.

September 2012

Prepared 5th February 2013