On 20 October 2010 the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. This is a landmark document and decision for all stakeholders involved in criminal proceedings across languages and cultures.
In this document, particularly Article 2 (Right to interpretation), Article 3 (Right to translation of essential documents), Article 5 (Quality of the interpretation and translation) and Article 6 (Training) deserve our close attention and commitment.
Indeed, as Article 9 on the Transposition stipulates: “Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 27 October 2013”.
This means that virtually all member states are now facing the urgent challenge to implement substantial changes in their national systems for the provision of translation and interpreting in criminal proceedings.
EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association, and Lessius University College Antwerp have been awarded EU funding under the EU Criminal Justice Programme for a project (JUST/JPEN/AG/1549 – TRAFUT – Training for the Future) that is intended to assist in and contribute to the implementation of the EU Directive.
The TRAFUT project team has developed the format and content of four regional workshops throughout the EU that will be held over the next 18 months. They are scheduled to be held in
- Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 24 to 26 November 2011
- Madrid, Spain, from 15 to 17 March 2012
- Helsinki, Finland, from 13 to 15 June 2012
- Antwerp, Belgium, from 18 to 20 October 2012.
Representatives from six to seven EU member states per workshop will be invited to attend these regional workshops. Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden have been selected as the countries for the third workshop in Helsinki.
In a number of modules, invited experts will address and discuss with the participants – judges, prosecutors, lawyers, judicial staff, police authorities, representatives of ministries of justice and national professional associations of legal interpreters and translators – the various aspects covered by the Articles 2, 3, 5 and 6 of Directive, such as
- the issue of setting up mechanisms in a member state to ensure the systemic provision of quality legal interpreting and translation and how to avoid the detrimental consequences of insufficient quality
- the issue of quality of interpretation and translation services, including specific interpreting and translation issues related to the European arrest Warrant
- the issue of national registers of legal interpreters and translators (admission procedures, register management, integration into the planned EU electronic data base, etc.)
- the training and further training of legal interpreters and translators, and best practices for the effective communication between judges, prosecutors, lawyers, judicial staff and legal interpreters and translators
- modern communication technologies in criminal proceedings such as video-conference interpreting) or special arrangements for vulnerable persons (e.g. sign-language interpreting).
In an introductory plenary session the legislative aspects in connection with the implementation of the Directive into member states’ legislation and administrative procedures will be addressed as well as the issue of the costs of interpretation and translation (Article 4).
The TRAFUT team looks forward to welcoming representatives of all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Directive in their member state and to being able to make a contribution to this important process.
For any further information about the project, please contact:
Liese Katschinka, TRAFUT Project Coordinator
Address: 1180 Vienna, Scheibenbergstrasse 59
Telephone/Fax: +43 (01) 470 98 19,