European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association (EULITA) celebrates first anniversary

On 26 November 2009 the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association (EULITA) was founded at the Court of First Instance of Antwerp. In the meantime 14 professional associations of legal interpreters and translators in 12 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK) have joined EULITA as full members. The 20 associate members comprise 2 European organizations (The European Forum of Sign-Language Interpreters EFSLI, the UK-based NGO Fair Trials International), 2 interpreters and translators organizations, 3 universities and 13 individual members, also from countries outside the European Union such as China, the USA and Colombia.

Getting the association organized was one of the first tasks of the Executive Committee on which members serve on a pro bono basis. The draft texts concerning details about admission criteria, internal regulations, etc. will be presented to the first General Assembly, which will take place in Hannover, Germany, on 27 March 2011 in conjunction with the BDÜ’s Fifth Court Interpreters’ Day.
EULITA has joined the EU’s Justice Forum as one of the stakeholders in the judicial process. As such it contributed to the EU Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, which was ultimately adopted on 26 October 2010. The Association now plans to organize regional seminars in order to foster the implementation of the Directive. In connection with plans to make national and/or regional registers of legal interpreters available on the e-Justice portal for cross-border access to language professionals in court proceedings, EULITA recently informed the Working Group on e-Justice of the Association’s development during the past twelve months.
In the course of the year EULITA was invited to join a number of EU projects as an associate partner and, in fact, cooperated with the CCBE on the project of factsheets for defendants in criminal proceedings. Interdisciplinary cooperation will continue to be one of the priorities in the years to come, since it contributes towards better training and continuous professional development of legal interpreters and translators, as well more effective communication through interpretation.
Working on model curricula for the training of legal interpreters and translators, as well as on a European code of ethics and professional conduct, together with Best Practices for language services in judicial settings are the tasks ahead of the Association, as it embarks on its second year of activities.
Liese Katschinka, President
on behalf of the Executive Committee of EULITA
European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association
Antwerp, 26 November 2010
 Click here for the press release.