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EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association, was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, on 26 November 2009. This international not-for-profit association (aisbl) was established under the Criminal Justice Programme of the Directorate-General Justice, Freedom, Security of the European Commission (project number JLS/2007/JPEN/249). A two-day conference on “Aspects of Legal Interpreting and Translation”, attended by close to 300 participants from more than 30 countries, accompanied the official launch of EULITA at the Antwerp Court of First Instance.
EULITA aims to bring together in its membership as full members the professional associations and legal translators and spoken and sign-language legal interpreters in the EU member states as well as the general associations that include legal translators and spoken or sign-language legal interpreters among their membership. As associate members EULITA welcomes all interested organisations, institutions and individuals that are committed to the improvement of quality in legal interpreting and translation.
EULITA aims to represent the interests and concerns of the profession of legal interpreters and translators vis-à-vis European and international organisations and to support associations of legal translators and spoken and sign language interpreters vis-à-vis national authorities and institutions, to promote the establishment of associations of legal interpreters and translators in member states where as yet they do not exist, to promote close cooperation with academic institutions in the field of training and research and to encourage the establishment of national and EU-wide registers of qualified legal interpreters and translators, while at all times respecting the diversity of judicial systems and cultures.
EULITA is further committed to promoting quality in legal interpreting and translations through the recognition of the professional status of legal interpreters and translators, the exchange of information and best practices in training and continuous professional development and the organisation of events on issues such as training, research, professionalism, etc., thus promoting judicial cooperation and mutual trust by the member states in each other’s systems of legal interpreting and translations.
EULITA, finally, aims to promote cooperation and best practices in working arrangements with the legal services and legal professions. The Directive on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings (OJ L 280/1 – see LIT materials / EU documents) was formally adopted on 26 October 2010 and must be transposed by 27 October 2013, which leaves EU member states only a few more months for implementing the necessary national measures. In the course of four regional workshops, held with EU funding under the TRAFUT (Training for the Future) project, EULITA presented the views of legal interpreters and translators on the various articles of the Directive to judicial stakeholders from EU member states. (For details of the project please click on TRAFUT in the left-hand margin).
At the third General Assembly of EULITA, which was held upon the invitation of the Association of Police and Court Interpreters (APCI) in London, United Kingdom, on 6 April 2013, EULITA decided to apply for EU funding in order to conduct a pilot project for an EU database of legal interpreters and translators. This is one of the objectives set under the Stockholm Programme which relates to various procedural rights in criminal proceedings. The General Assembly also co-opted Catherina Van den Brinková Štifterová, a member of the Chamber of Court-Appointed Interpreters in the Czech Republic (KST ČR), as the new Secretary of EULITA. She succeeds Kristiina Antinjuntti who currently serves as president of the Finnish association SKTL. The other members of the Executive Committee continue to be Liese Katschinka (Austria), President, Christiane Driesen (Germany), Vice-President, Zofia Rybinska (Poland), Vice-President, Lucía Castaño-Castaño (Spain), Treasurer, Flavia Caciagli (Italy) and Mirjam van Oijen-Stolk (Netherlands). EULITA’s activities in 2013 will focus on the QUALETRA (Quality in Legal Translation) project (for details please click on QUALETRA in the left-hand margin) and the preparations for a pilot project to establish an EU database of legal interpreters and translators.
Associations and organisations that are interested in legal interpreting and translation issues are cordially invited to contact the EULITA Secretary (email@example.com) for details about membership in EULITA. You will also find all necessary information at “Join EULITA”.
Liese Katschinka, President of EULITA
London, April 2013