Videoconference and remote interpreting in legal proceedings: A European survey and its implications for interpreting research, training and practice
Sabine Braun, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey
Videoconference (VC) technology is increasingly used in legal proceedings – with likely consequences for the future practice of interpreting in this area and with new requirements for research and training. VC links are, for example, used to speed up cross-border proceedings (e.g. video links from courts to witnesses abroad). The Czech EU presidency has in fact made the expansion of cross-border videoconferencing throughout the EU one of its priorities in the area of justice. This is complemented by a variety of VC uses at national level to save time and costs and to increase security (e.g. video links from courts to prisons). When these settings are multilingual, an interpreter needs to be integrated in the VC situation (videoconference interpreting – VCI). Apart from that, VC technology also offers a potential solution to problems with the local provision of qualified legal interpreters and with interpreter travel costs. Thus, the idea of using videoconferencing as a tool for interpreting e.g. police interviews or court proceedings from a distance (remote interpreting – RI) is also gaining momentum in the judicial services.
However, very little is currently known about the extent of VCI and RI use in legal proceedings, the precise settings in which these forms of interpreting are used and how their use affects the viability and quality of legal interpreting, especially for the purposes of evidence taking. This presentation addresses the first and second of these points. Based on a European survey among legal organisations, the presentation will focus on the extent and the relevant settings of VCI/RI use in criminal proceedings. In the first part, the findings of the survey will be presented and analysed. In the second part, some implications for future research and the future training and practice of legal interpreting will be discussed.
The work which is reported in this presentation is based on research in the EU project AVIDICUS (Assessment of Videoconference Interpreting in the Criminal Justice Services, JLS/2008/JPEN/037, http://www.surrey.ac.uk/translation/avidicus/), which is conducted by the University of Surrey (UK) in cooperation with Lessius University (BE), the Local Police Antwerp (BE), the Dutch Ministry of Justice (NL), the Dutch Legal Aid Board (NL) and the Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators TEPIS (PL).
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions and/or the PowerPoint presentation used during this workshop.