Project description

Over the years, the EU has registered significant figures on criminal proceedings involving a non-national (± 10%) and cost factors of legal translation. According to estimates made by DGJ in the Impact Assessment document of the Proposal for a Framework Decision on the right to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings (COM(2009) 338 final), the need for legal translation will increase significantly. A first reason is the ever-growing mobility of EU citizens and globalisation, a second reason is the implementation of Directive 2010/64/EU on the Right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. This has serious consequences for the EU Member States, legal practitioners and translators and training institutions.

This project proposal responds mainly to section B of the Action Grant call: “Projects that promote training of […] translators who specialise in criminal proceedings”, also involving “Comparative projects involving practices in different Member States in relation to […] translation, [and] to information".

Priority will be given to practical results which can be directly used by practitioners and policy makers in their respective Member States. The project will focus on actions to develop curricula, assessment procedures and certification and accreditation strategies in order to improve the training of legal translators. In addition the project will develop models for legal practitioners to interact efficiently with legal translation.

The project proposal is situated in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights, the EU Charter, the Stockholm Programme and in particular responding to article 3, 5 and 6 of Directive 2010/64/EU.

In addition it will specifically address the AWP 2012 priorities of (3.1.2) Procedural rights and defence rights, and (3.1.4) Legal […] translation and the concern for the need of and quality for translation in Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right to information in criminal proceedings (Doc n° 12564/10) and the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (Doc n° 18691/11 COR 1).

However, up to this point, little initiative has been taken to tackle these problems on a large scale. Former and current EU projects mainly focus on legal interpreting, leaving behind legal translation, hence the need of filling that gap with a project focusing on legal translation. The project will contribute towards achieving common minimum standards of procedural rights in criminal proceedings by ensuring that the basic rights of other language suspected and accused persons are protected sufficiently through legal translation of the essential document as referred to in article 3 of Directive 2010/64/EU both in national proceedings and in cases involving the EAW, as the project will also focus on the monitoring of the typical work environment of legal translators involved in cross-border cooperation in criminal proceedings. In order to enhance mutual recognition, measures of promoting mutual trust should be taken, and such trust ultimately relies on reliable communication, hence in the multilingual EU, on legal translation.

The expected overall result is the conduction of transparent, cost-effective criminal proceedings in the EU courts guaranteeing the rights of suspected and accused persons as stipulated in Directive 2010/64/EU and in the two Proposals for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council mentioned above.


The university partners are all members of the network of European Master’s in Translation (EMT) and of the Conférence internationale permanente d’instituts universitaires de traducteurs et interprètes (CIUTI), both consisting of only top-ranking departments of translation, and all of them have wide experience in providing legal translation courses and in research on issues related to legal translation. These networks guarantee strong mutual trust and compatibility of quality criteria.

The partnership with the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association (EULITA) guarantees close links with the professional associations of legal translation.

The presence of CCBE and ECBA, which have a longstanding recognised experience in criminal proceedings, as full partners in the project enhances the cooperation with legal practitioners who form an important target group in this project.

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