Judge criticises lack of assistance from Legal Aid Agency in case

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HHJ Lynn Roberts has criticised the lack of assistance provided by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) in the case of R (Translation of Documents in Proceedings) [2015] EWFC B112. The Judge had invited the LAA to intervene in proceedings in relation to the cost of translating documents created or obtained in care proceedings, however, they declined to do so.

In this case, the parents in the proceedings were Polish and so it was agreed that the documents that were produced by the local authority at the outset of proceedings should be translated by the local authority in question and paid for by the latter.

However, the Judge was asked to determine who should bear the costs of the translations of other documents obtained or created during care proceedings. The LAA was invited to intervene in proceedings in order to obtain their position on the issue and their reasoning for it.
The LAA responded by email, declining to intervene and stating that the costs should be shared equally between the parties, however, they did not state whether it was a decision or a suggestion. In addition to this, they failed to reply to any further correspondence from the Judge asking for clarification.

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