UK Rape Survivors Label Court Transcript Costs “Exploitative”

Survivors of violent and sexual crimes in the United Kingdom are calling for court transcript costs to be cut, saying that charging thousands of pounds for copies of court hearings are “exploitative,” Sima Kotecha reports for the BBC. Multiple survivors have recounted charges of as much as £7,500 per trial transcript. The court transcription service is outsourced to six companies in the UK, in a contract worth more than £17m. BBC Newsnight found transcription costs at the six government-contracted firms varied from 80p per 72 words, to £1.71, for a 12-working-day transcription. Survivors argue that having access to affordable transcripts allows them to go over the evidence and statements properly after cases have concluded, while also avoiding the difficult and traumatic experience of absorbing what is said in actual court.

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