• Lina Liu

Is love the language of justice?

I was interpreting at Nottingham Tribunal last week, it was an immigration appeal of a young Indonesian lady. I was interpreting from English to Bahasa Indonesian and vice versa.

This young lady fell in love madly with a Malaysian national and both over stayed in the U.K for 3 years, she didn't seek for visa extension during her pregnancy, now she is facing deportation by the Home Office. According to the British immigration law, She ought to return home to Indonesia to apply for a new visa, as a result, she will be separated from her "stateless" child and her beloved partner for a prolonged period of time.

The home office representative asked her why didn't she extend her visa when the first met her partner3 years ago, her answer was "I was so in love that nothing matters anymore! It was love at first sight!" I saw her watery eyes

Being a qualified interpreter with 15 years experience, I know my role is to stay impartial, listened carefully of the legal arguments and questions put forward by the judge and barrister, then interpreted to the Indonesian appellant, and interpreted the answered given by the appellant from non English into English.

The judge asked the Indonesian lady "Do you intend to get married in the future?"

She naively said "We do not believe in marriage! My parents and his parents got married and got divorced! What is the point of marriage? We love each other so dearly, we do not need to get married for the sake of marriage! It's LOVE that matters!"

Will the female judge make an exceptional and let her stay in the U.K. on compassionate ground?

Is it fair to separate a loving young family for a long period of time? What is fair? What is right and what is wrong?

Is love the language of justice?

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