EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association, was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, on 26 November 2009. It is a non-profit association, established under the Criminal Justice Programme of the EU Commission’s Directorate-General of Freedom, Security and Justice (project number JLS/2007/JPEN/249). In its Mission statement on this website you will find in detail the objectives which EULITA pursues through its activities. (About us / Mission statement).
Our Executive Committee has just started a new mandate, having replaced two of its seven members. Although we have had to say goodbye to our representatives from the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, we have welcomed on board, for the first time since 2010, delegates from Ireland and Slovenia.
10 years and counting! EULITA had expected to celebrate its tenth anniversary in Athens last March, but unfortunately this was rendered impossible by the coronavirus pandemic: although our Greek colleagues made every effort to make it happen, we had to cancel the event given the reality and gravity of the situation in our respective countries.
Initially counting 29 members in 2010, EULITA has now grown to 92 members in 39 countries all over the world.
The objectives pursued by EULITA today are the same as those which prompted its founders to establish (a European and) an international association uniting national associations of legal interpreters and translators, universities and training institutes as well as international organizations and individuals: to promote, in the interest of justice, the fundamental principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms; to advance the quality of legal translation and legal interpreting in both spoken and signed languages; to stimulate appropriate training and enable mutual recognition of qualifications and practice among the EU Member States; to promote professionalism and the recognition of the professional status of qualified legal interpreters and translators, which includes the creation of national and eventually EU-wide registers; to promote strict adherence to a professional code of ethics.
Facing up to and reaching these objectives is a long and winding path, with Directive 2010/64/EU as our guiding star – directive that, even if formally transposed in all our Member States, is only partially applied in most of them. This obliges us to keep a close eye on the situation even today, after so many years since its adoption!
It is thus crucial for our members to join forces, with the support of EULITA, in order to raise awareness about the essential role of our colleagues who contribute to fair trials and the proper administration of justice.
Some of the ‘tasks’ that we have to tackle if we want to reach the objectives mentioned above are: to inform our national legislators about the best solutions that need to be introduced in their respective systems as far as legal translation and interpreting are concerned, with particular attention being paid to recruitment, national registers, competences and skills; to regularly call on the European Commission to keep an eye on the situation in the Member States and on the correct implementation of Directive 2010/64/EU; to raise awareness among judges, prosecutors, lawyers and police officers about the importance to rely on qualified and professional legal interpreters and translators who are duly recognized by their respective legal systems.
Together with the other members of the newly elected Executive Committee, I truly rely on the cooperation and the goodwill of everybody who shares my conviction that only coordinated action and joint effort in all our countries will allow us to reach our goals.
Daniela Amodeo Perillo,
Luxembourg, July 2020
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