Re L: PD27A and expert translation fees
For those who missed it last week, here is the link to the President’s judgment in Re L (AChild)  EWFC 15.
The case had been transferred to the President to address a discrete issue in respect of a refusal by the LAA to grant funding for the costs of translation of documents from the court bundle in care proceedings into the native language of a non-English speaker.
Sir James Munby was highly critical of the advocates in the case for “agreeing” a list of documents which ran to 591 pages (it is to be noted that this was not the entire bundle) to be translated. This list appears to have been endorsed by the court as being “necessary”. The President reviewed the subsequently revised list – the advocates managed to trim the original to 246 pages – to a mere 51 pages. He gives some guidance on which original documents he considers it to be necessary for a non-English speaker in care proceedings to have translated into their own language.
Perhaps a more important feature of the judgment is Sir James’ reiteration in the strongest possible terms of the absolute imperative to comply at all times with PD27A and the sanctions that may befall parties who do not. He comments that in his experience the practice direction is being widely ignored and this cannot continue.
All practitioners are urged to read the judgment in full immediately.