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Bravo Professor - NYTimes article on agriprocessors case II
Thread poster: xxxPeter Manda
xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 00:00
German to English
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Jul 11, 2008

Sorry, I got carried away by copying the story on Professor Erik Camayd-Freixas in the New York Times today. Here is the link to the article:

I think he did the correct thing.

The job of the interpreter is to interpret everything correctly, but the interpreter is a citizen also and as such also an officer of the court. I would think he/she would have the duty to make the court aware of gross injustice - as in this case.

The nature of the proceedings (as he describes them) reflect the frustrating dehumanization of people without money and funds who come before the courts or who face the law. No one helps, the attorneys don't respect them, and the courts literally shirk their obligations for judicial convenience.

In dark times it takes someone like professor Camayd-Freixas to take the stand. But I wonder, shouldn't he have made the court aware of the problem during the hearings, rather than waiting until after the proceedings? What is the best approach?

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xxxjacana54  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
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Thank you for providing the link Jul 13, 2008


Thank you for providing the link.

I would like to know how other colleagues who work as court interpreters feel about this striking case; also about the confidentiality issue.


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Christina Courtright  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:00
Spanish to English
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discussion within NAJIT Jul 13, 2008

We have discussed the article extensively in the listserv of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT). Most are supportive of Erik's decision to speak out and agree that he did not violate our canons of confidentiality as he did not reveal any details of any case in particular. Instead, he made overall observations based on a huge volume of cases for which he interpreted. In addition, he sparked discussion about our role as interpreters in general, and reflected the anguish many of us feel when interpreting in a situation in which injustices occur but we can't say anything about it because of our oath and training.

A few people did not agree with his opinion, but that is the minority. I spoke at length with one interpreter who was working there also the whole time and she was just as horrified by what she observed.

Today's New York Times editorial has strongly endorsed Erik's exposé and condemned what occurred in Postville:

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Andrzej Wróblewski
Local time: 06:00
English to Polish
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Ways of proceeding Aug 11, 2008

Imagine, that every law enforcement organization in the world would abandon their ways of proceeding and would only act to prevent crime... without set-ups, entrapments... In my opinion the author of the essay only did what he felt was right to expose one hard evidence on the immigrants' behalf.

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Local time: 06:00
Swedish to Arabic
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questioned credibility Aug 14, 2008

I think this problem is very delicate. an interpreter must absolutlly respect the ethical rules such neutrality. under any pretext interpreter must not add or modify words in favour or disfavour to any of the parties. feelings, humanism must remain away. otherwise, he put his credibility at stake

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Bravo Professor - NYTimes article on agriprocessors case II

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