A Video Remote Interpreteing (VRI) pilot project is underway for courts in the US state of California, and is set for its trial run of six months starting in July 2017. From the California Courts website:

Video Remote Interpreting uses videoconferencing technology to provide court users with a qualified interpreter, when an onsite interpreter is not readily available. In June 2016, the Judicial Council approved a VRI pilot project to evaluate and test VRI technology in the courts, pursuant to recommendations in the Judicial Council’s Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts (the Language Access Plan, or LAP). This pilot project aims to expand language access within the California courts by testing different VRI equipment solutions. The pilot will include input from the public and court stakeholders to help the branch evaluate how and when VRI may be appropriate for different types of case events (short matters). On an individual basis, the court will determine if each case event is appropriate for VRI. For a quick review of VRI, download the Video Remote Interpreting Fact Sheet.

Potential Benefits of VRI include:

  • Increased access to qualified (certified and registered) interpreters, especially in languages of lesser diffusion.
  • Allowing court users to see and talk to an interpreter in their language without extended delay, despite not being in the same room, or even the same city.
  • Allowing court users to resolve short, non-evidentiary, non-complex and uncontested hearings, even when on-site interpreters are unavailable, lowering the need to reschedule court visits.
  • Private and confidential VRI conversations, similar to in-person interpreting.

See the project outline >>