Just turned on Channel 4 News which seemed to be covering trials, the length of them and if juries can understand their complex nature. As soon as I had turned the television on, it was covering the fact that a trial had to be postponed for a day because a member of the jury’s hearing aid broke. Does anyone know any further details about this?
Whilst hearing aids are acceptable over here (without communication support), having communication support is not. It becomes the 13th person issue, within the deliberation room. It seems rather bizarre that a juror functioning with a hearing aid alone (after all, it does not replace natural hearing) is safer or indeed more legal than one who is relying on communication via a third party.
Extracted from the Crown Prosecution Service website …
A witness who is deaf or hard of hearing may require the services of a qualified Sign Language Interpreter or, for those who do not know or use sign language, a Lipspeaker in order to give their evidence at court. Only registered Sign Language Interpreters or Lipspeakers should be used. The Council for the advancement of Communication with Deaf people (CACDP) is the national examining and registration body for sign language interpreters and details of qualified Sign Language Interpreters and Lipspeakers appear in the CACDP Directory. (See Annex A)
The true record of the original statement of a witness or defendant who uses sign language is a video recording, not the interpreter’s written or oral version of what they say the defendant or witness conveyed. See R v Raynor (Times Law Reports 19.09.00) and Regina v Govenor of Brixton Prison and Another Ex Parte Safi (Times Law Reports 24.01.01) (See also ECHR Manual of Guidance Chapter16.8C)
The Crown Prosecution Service.