One of the main objectives of the European Association for Legal Interpreters and Translators (EULITA) is to represent its full and associate member associations, as well as its associated individual members at European level.
EULITA therefore has the responsibility to draft a code for legal interpreters and translators working in judicial contexts or similar settings, such as pre-trial proceedings (i.e. interviews with police and prosecution officers, consultations with defence lawyers), court hearings and post-trial interventions. The Code and its underlying principles are outlined below.
The professional ethics of legal interpreters and translators derive directly from the principles that are defined in the following sources. They demonstrate the key role of legal interpreters and translators in the search for truth and how their work may affect the life and rights of others:
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 1948 (Articles 1-11)
- The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, November 1950 (Articles 5 and 6)
- The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000/C 364/01), CHAPTER III – Articles 20 – 21, CHAPTER VI –Articles 47 – 50
- Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament and Council of 20 October 2010 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings
Legal interpreters and translators thus play an essential role in all efforts to ensure the equality of citizens in justice-related communications.
The members of EULITA have accepted this Code and comply with its articles.