Two more days for EU law on right to translation and interpretation to become reality

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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
Member
French to English
+ ...
Shame they're not interested in enforcing it Oct 29, 2013

When I alerted the EU Committee on Petitions last year to the disastrous outsourcing system adopted by the UK government, which as I pointed out would inevitably deprofessionalise court interpreting and leave the UK in no position to comply with the Directive, the Committee replied that it would take no action and that member states are free to implement the Directive in whatever way they wish. Sure enough, the professionals have left the sector en masse, court interpreting is in a horrendous mess... and they could have stopped it if they'd bothered to act. Directives are meaningless if they are not enforced, and sadly this one is far too vague about interpreting quality to be of any benefit. It only requires member states to "endeavour to establish" a register of independent interpreters, not to actually finish the job. But hey, it's only justice and public safety that are at stake...

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Nathaniel2
Local time: 16:51
Slovak to English
Peter Oct 30, 2013

I remember years ago a friend telling me that if you're looking for justice, that's what you'll find, just us. Sad but true.

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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:51
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Step in the right direction... Nov 6, 2013

I'm not disagreeing with any of the above, and I'm glad the UK situation has been brought to the attention of the EU, however I feel the directive itself is a step in the right direction; for states that have not provided any legal interpreting services before, it could give them an idea of what they should be doing.
The right itself has been around for much longer as all EU states, even before they joined the EU, were subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides for a fair trial in Article 6. It can only help if you can understand proceedings. Sadly, this is unlikely to change the actual situation and many citizens of one state are convicted in others without understanding the legal process they've been subject to, or the specifics of their conviction and sentences - if they're lucky, a charity might help out. The directive also has no sanctions beyond "investigation" and "being named" in a report for non-compliance - hardly an incentive for states!
How do you say "miscarriage of justice" in 20+ EU languages?
Aisha


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Two more days for EU law on right to translation and interpretation to become reality

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