The United Kingdom Ministry of Justice made a major mistake when trying to explain the court system to people with intellectual disabilities and to non-native speakers.
The Ministry drafted an easy-to-read document, aimed at helping people with intellectual disabilities and people who are not fluent in English navigate judicial proceedings. While the attempt was definitely a worthy one, accuracy got lost in translation. In an explanation that completely goes against UK law, the easy to read guide tells readers that the burden of proof lies on the accused, and not the accuser. The guide reads: “If you say you did not do a crime, you may have to go back to the Court on a different day, to show the Court you did not do the crime. This is called a trial.”
After the error was spotted on Twitter, the guide was withdrawn. “Easy-read guides are an important way of providing information to people in simple and straightforward language. It is crucial to ensure these documents are precise and as helpful as possible,” said the spokesperson of the Justice Ministry. “We are reviewing this guide and have removed it from our website while this process takes place,” they added.
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