Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crisis in Canadian Court Interpreting?

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly reports that a shortage of skilled interpreters is creating major problems with the administration of justice:
"The provision of interpreter services is a basic right of anyone who is a party or witness in court proceedings under s. 14 of the Charter, which guarantees the right of an accused to understand the proceedings (...)"

"But fulfilling those rights is difficult because of a shortage of qualified, competent interpreters, especially in the languages of recent waves of immigrants from countries such as Somalia and Cambodia. Often the courts use people who speak the language, but aren’t qualified as court interpreters."

"In Alberta the issue has become so serious that the provincial justice department has formed a special committee to try to find a solution. In early November the Ontario Criminal Lawyers Association in Ontario heard from Justice Casey Hill of the Ontario Superior Court, who bemoaned the lack of training and competence of interpreters and the fact that competition for interpreters between courts has become 'almost cutthroat'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm


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