Interpreter for taking instructions
My client has been arrested and the police have arranged an interpreter for the Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) interview. Can I use the same interpreter for taking instructions?
In most circumstances it will be appropriate to use the same interpreter to act for your client. However, you should consider using a different interpreter where:
- the interpreter arranged by the police cannot meet all of the client's needs;
- there are multiple suspects; or
- the client knows the interpreter arranged by the police personally or by repute
Other factors you should consider include whether: i) the charges are of a particularly sensitive and/or serious nature ii) there is a significant risk that the client's comprehension of police questioning, and/or the accuracy of the interpretation of police questioning will be disputed, and the interpreter is a potential prosecution witness in the matter iii) community relations are such that the client has little confidence in the interpreter/police relationship, and this may affect the quality of your consultation and the development of the fiduciary relationship between you and your client.
For further information, please refer to the Law Society's Practice Note entitled Use of Interpreters.