05 Oct 2023

Response to Welsh Govt. consultation

System Dribiwnlysoedd Newydd i Gymru / A New Tribunal System for Wales: White Paper consultation

As two leading UK bodies for translation and interpreting, the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the Chartered Institute of Linguists welcomed the Welsh Government’s invitation to contribute to their consultation on A New Tribunal System for Wales.

ITI Logo.png




The consultation closed on 2nd October 2023. Below you can read our joint responses to the questions within the consultation that were relevant to our area of expertise.

The Success of Language Policy in Wales

The success of measures to generate greater use and engagement with the Welsh language is one of the most significant linguistic achievements of modern times and anything which sustains and further embeds bilingualism and indeed multilingualism is to be welcomed, given the intrinsic cultural value of languages and their utility in all manner of working and life contexts. The Welsh Government deserves full credit for its innovative and impactful support for Welsh language services. Welsh universities and schools also continue to be a beacon in the UK in terms of their advocacy for the value of languages.

The importance of other languages

Our one observation would be that Question 41 and 42 focus exclusively on Welsh and English and do not mention the many other languages spoken in community settings in Wales.

Securing justice and protecting vulnerable groups through the provision of properly qualified, trained and experienced interpreters is something into which we have poured enormous efforts with the police and Ministry of Justice, but progress is never guaranteed.

Hard won commitments to upholding requirements for qualifications, minimum levels of language proficiency and to professional standards can slip; either through policy change, inadequacies in procurement processes or through loopholes becoming normalised in the delivery against them.

Supporting people who don’t have adequate Welsh or English

As part of your New Tribunal System for Wales we would urge you to commit not only to treating the Welsh language no less favourably than English, but to supporting other languages and to safeguarding other communities in Wales who do not have an adequate command of either Welsh or English.

The Welsh Government’s commitment to a more equal Wales, as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, would be strengthened by this action, and many disadvantaged people would be guaranteed access to fair, safe and equal treatment under the law through the professional support of a properly qualified interpreter with the necessary language skills.

Read more about the detatils of the consultation and view the full consultation document on the Welsh Government website.