A DUP peer has described the rates of pay earned by interpreters by the court service as “startling”.

Lord Morrow has said he is intending to uncover how much had been spent on interpreters in Northern Ireland over the past three years, after finding out that they were “well paid”.

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) is party to a contract with Connect-NICEM, who supply interpreters in a variety of languages for the criminal justice agencies.

NICTS is also party to a similar contract with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) for the provision of sign language interpretation services.

For hearings other than a Crown Court trial, one local interpreter is booked for defendants who may have difficulty speaking or understanding English.

The minimum fee, for a three hour session, is £75 with the hourly fee thereafter set at £25 an hour.

The booking fee is £50, but this can rise to an enhanced fee of £70 if less than 24 hours notice is given. There is also a charge of £10 waiting fee between interpreting sessions if this is necessary.

The fixed travel fee sits at £6 while the mileage rate for interpreters is 45 pence per mile. Read more.

See: Newsletter.co.uk