Doing Justice to Court Interpreting
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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Along a continuum of interlingual interpreting which begins with police investigations and may end in a supreme court, consistent quality must be assured in order to comply with the standards of justice to which enlightened countries aspire and lay claim. With the advent of the global village, the quantity of cases requiring language mediation has exploded exponentially. The issues involved are not new, and simply put involve arranging for the provision of competent interpreters throughout the criminal justice system. However, the actual provision of quality interlingual interpreting in a criminal justice system is not a straightforward enterprise. The mere existence of legislation requiring the provision of interpreters in courts is not the key element. Nor are insightful comments made by appellate judges in cases brought because of an absence of satisfactory language arrangements. The article shows the problematic nature of interpreting arrangements in the criminal justice system for which the government and its players — even judges — assume no responsibility. The resultant “missing stitches” are likely to deprive those who do not speak the language of the proceedings of their fundamental rights.


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