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J.Ustinovskaya
J.Ustinovskaya,
Category: Law
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Only for J.Ustinovskaya. I made a Claim against the Home

Customer Question

Only for J.Ustinovskaya.
I made a Claim against the Home Office (discrimination).
The Judge stroke out my Claim and I made an Appeal.
The permission to Appealwas refused and I ordered a hearing.
Before the hearing I sent email to the Court asking an interpreter.
The Judge adjourned the hearing and told me I had to make an Applocation and provide proofs of my income.
I did it but today 29/05/2021 I received a letter saying that a judge, responding to my Application, has directed the following terms «It is not for the Court to provide an interpreter. The claimant must do so from his own pocket if he wants one».
First, I understand that by Law the Court must provide me with an interpreter.
Second, It is my understanding that the Judge, in response to an Application, must wrote an Order which I have right to Appeal as it was made without a hearing and the decision is clearly unlawful and discriminative.
What would be the best way for me to act in such sircumstances?
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 20 days ago.

Dear Client, thank you for your request. I endeavour to give you the answer within a couple of hours.

Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 20 days ago.

The rules are that you might be able to get an interpreter for free if you can’t understand English. This will depend on:

- what your case involves;

- the type of court or tribunal dealing with your case.

If your case is at a court, you’ll be definitely given an interpreter in serious cases like eviction (when you are losing your home) or committal (if you’ve broken a court order and might go to prison). In less serious cases you might still be able to get an interpreter if:

- you can’t afford to pay for an interpreter yourself;

- you don’t qualify for legal aid;

- you don’t have a friend or family member who the judge says can act as your interpreter (and you need to prove that you do not have such a person).

If you case is in a tribunal, you needed to ask for an interpreter when you filled in your appeal form. Unfortunately, tribunals do not always grant permissions to have a free translator, it is up to the judge. Sometimes you may be required to show that you have not lived in the UK during a long enough time to be able to learn English as sometimes even criminal courts deny defendants of interpretation services if the defendant has spent long time in the UK.

To answer your other questions, could you please clarify what was the format of the letter you received from the judge refusing to provide an interpreter? How did you apply for an interpreter?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thanks.
I am definitely qualified to get an interpreter.
I made an Application and submitted a letter from HMRS and a bank statement. And as I made an Application It is my understanding that the Judge, in response to an Application, MUST wrote an Order which I have right to Appeal against as it was made without a hearing and the decision is clearly unlawful and discriminative. Instead I received just a letter saying that "The Judge (no name was given) has directed the following terms «It is not for the Court to provide an interpreter. The claimant must do so from his own pocket if he wants one»
It is first time in my life that a Judge does not follow the legal process and I am not sure what could I do about this in this country.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I proved that I do not have money to get an interpreter and the Judge "has directed" that I MUST do it anyway. It is the same like ordering a blind person to read a text though he obviously is not able.
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 20 days ago.

Which court is the case in?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
This one is in the Central Court (it is a hearing of permission to appeal) but today I received exactly the same letter from the Barnet County Court in response to the exactly the same Application.
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 19 days ago.

There is a difference between translation and legal aid services. Even if you were given permission to have a translator, he would only technically translate words, but he would not explain anything in legal terms as the translator is not a legally qualified person. Your English seems quite good, are you sure you needed a translator at all? It looks like you, in fact, wanted someone to explain the meaning of what is going on at court, which is called “legal aid”, however, the translator would not be able to provide this.

If you want a free legal aid instead, the requirements differ. Here is a calculator to check if you are eligible for it - https://civil-eligibility-calculator.justice.gov.uk/

Your case is at court, not tribunal, then the judge has discretion to decide if he wants to grant you a free translator or not, based on the whole picture and on all circumstances of the case. There are no strict rules how the judges’ decision shall be made. By law, judges have wide discretion.

Here are some precedents from tribunals practice, it may help for understanding how courts consider applications for translating services. In Hak v St Christopher's Fellowship [2016] ICR 411, [2016] IRLR 342, the EAT considered the duties of a Tribunal to ensure a fair hearing for a litigant whose first language was not English. In general, where a party wishes to have an interpreter present, the Tribunal should facilitate it as best it can and should “strive to do so” (para 38). However, there may be circumstances in which the command of English is so poor that a litigant cannot give the account which they would wish to give to the Tribunal. There is, in such cases, a powerful argument that the Tribunal must take all reasonable steps – including funding – to secure the services of an interpreter (para 39). By contrast, where a litigant had a well-demonstrated ability to speak, write and read English, an interpreter would be unnecessary and the request should be refused (but the Tribunal should “think long and hard” before so concluding in respect of a person whose mother tongue may well not be English (para 40)). There were also cases, falling between these categories in which the Tribunal had to conduct an assessment of need, against achieving justice, fairness and equality of arms. This assessment was for the Judge bearing in mind that spoken and written language are different and that pressures in court are such that immediate comprehension and response are required (para 41). A useful test would be to ask whether the litigant's command of language was sufficient to enable him to give the best account to the tribunal which he would wish to give relating to the matters in dispute (para 45). See also Lema v DHL Supply Chain Ltd(UKEATPA/0315/17/LA), 21 March 2018 and Ringway Infrastructure Services Ltd v Conlon(UKEAT/0256/18/DA) in which it was determined that the claimant's command of English was sufficient that no interpreter was required.

You received a direction instead of an order because of the format of the application you have made. You may submit an application for the court to reconsider its decision.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
1. Yes, I need a translator (the Judge said "interpreter" and the Law says "able to get an interpreter"). My English is not good enough, especialy comparing to the Defendant's language skills, especially listening and speaking.
2. "You received a direction instead of an order because of the format of the application you have made".
I have not received Directions. I received a LETTER saying that it was "directed". It is just a letter. I know what are the Directions At leats it should be written "Directions" etc. It is not.
How can I use the fact that I have not received any Order or Directions?
3. "You may submit an application for the court to reconsider its decision".
It should be a normal Application with explanation that I cannot give the account which I would wish to give to the Tribunal?
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Unfortunately I did not have enough time to read Hak v St Christopher's Fellowship case but I have already noticed that in that case "No interpreter could be found". It seems to be different as in my case judges just refused to provide me interpreter. As I explained the judge "directed" «It is not for the Court to provide an interpreter. The claimant must do so from his own pocket if he wants one».
First, it is for Court to provide an intrepreter in my situation and secondly, I am not ABLE to get one from my pocket and I proved it.
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 19 days ago.

1. The test would be to ask whether the litigant's command of language was sufficient to enable him to give the best account to the court which he would wish to give relating to the matters in dispute. The other party's language skills are irrelevant. The court has wide discretion on various matters based on the whole picture and all circumstances of the case. To advise further please upload the bundle here. However, reviewing the bundle would not be a free service.

2 &3. Please upload the document here together with the bundle. Premium service will be offered.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thanks.
Unfortunately I won't be able to for premium service.
Could you just confirm that "It should be a normal Application with explanation that I cannot give the account which I would wish to give to the Tribunal?".
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 19 days ago.

This does not work like Maths, very much depends on the case. An application shall show and prove that you really need an interpreter (your command of language is not sufficient to enable you to give the best account to the court which you would wish to give) and that you really do not have anybody to assist you with translation.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
OK. But it It should be a normal Application? Form N244?
Expert:  J.Ustinovskaya replied 18 days ago.

Please see section 9.3 here - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/913526/HMCTS_Admin_Court_JRG_2020_Final_Web.pdf The format of the request for an interpreter is not specified. Usually this request is incorporated in the appellant's notice.

If you are a litigant in person, here is also a useful guide explaining various procedures - https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/JCO/Documents/Guidance/A_Handbook_for_Litigants_in_Person.pdf

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Sorry, I was unable to open the first link...
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I have this guide but thank you anyway.