Activities of the EULITA Executive Committee
Missions March – June 2018
Before our Conference and GA, which took place on 16 and 17 March in Sofia, another event had occurred in Sofia on 9 and 10 March, the LEAP (Legal Experts Advisory Panel of Fair Trials) annual conference.
Presentations and the following discussions were very intense and animated, the topics being not only interesting but extremely sensitive: human rights and the European security agenda, the European Arrest Warrant and trial by media, discrimination in criminal justice and developments in the CJEU caselaw: participants had no time to relax, the sessions starting at 9:00am and ending at 6:30pm both days.
EULITA’s President had the opportunity to fruitfully network with a certain number of lawyers and stressed the need to organize joint trainings between counsel and interpreters, the essential role that qualified legal translators and interpreters could play nowadays before our national courts if they were recognized, respected and decently remunerated, the importance that lawyers and other legal stakeholders be aware of the need for quality in a legal setting.
During the final plenary session, Daniela Amodeo Perillo (DAP) underlined the poor quality spotted in several national transposition acts of Directive 2010/64 and regretted the fact that the deadline for the Commission’s first report had expired in 2014, leaving our competent colleagues extremely disappointed.
The 20th Annual Conference of Translators and Interpreters of ELTE was held on 22 and 23 March in Budapest and had more than 400 registered participants.
DAP spoke on the subject of the ISO standard on legal interpretation and then had the opportunity of networking with several colleagues of the Hungarian associations – also giving an interview for SZOFT – of the European institutions and of international organizations, in particular InZone with which future cooperation was envisaged.
EMCI Student Meeting
On 6 and 7 April, DAP spoke in Trieste at the meeting organized by the “Dipartimento di Scienze giuridiche, del Linguaggio, dell’Interpretazione e della Traduzione” to students attending the European Master courses (EMCI).
The entities represented were La Laguna, ISIT Paris, Universiteit ANTWERPEN, FIT Geneva, Univerza Karlova Prague, ELTE Budapest and UBB Cluij-Napoca.
Within a very lively atmosphere DAP gave a speech on the ISO standard 20 228 and took part in a round table on “The Evolution of the Interpreting Profession”.
KCI – Knowledge Center on Interpretation
EULITA, which had been invited by SCIC last September as a relevant stakeholder in the interpreting world at the launch of the KCI, spoke, among other members of the focus group, at the SCIC Universities Conference held in Brussels on 20 April, where the developments of the KCI were presented.
The KCI is divided into several chapters, one being “Other types of interpreting” among which Legal Interpretation.
The objective of this web-based platform – access to which is, for the time being, limited to the focus group – is to connect relevant people from different disciplines and encourage them to share information, knowledge and best practices in all fields of interpretation.
Federlingue, an Italian association that represents some companies that offer language services, organized, in cooperation with DG Translation of the European Commission, a #Translating Europe workshop on “Legal Translators between Law and Language” on 24 May in Milan.
EULITA was represented by its president, who spoke about legal translators in Europe, offering an overview of the situation of these professionals in our Member States.
Her presentation was based on the results of the surveys conducted in 2014 and 2016 thanks to the contribution of EULITA’s national associations.
EULITA was invited to speak before the GA of CIUTI, the “Conférence Internationale d’Instituts Universitaires de Traduction et Interprétation”, held in Edinburgh on 29 and 30 May.
DAP spoke about Directive 2010/64, the different forms of training – traditional, ad hoc, in tandem, for future LIT with languages of lesser diffusion – ethics, and underlined the fundamental role of the universities as well as their responsibility for the future of the two professions.
GIT – Groupe de Travail sur la Traduction
On 4 June, DAP took part in the biannual meeting of the GIT held in Paris at the headquarters of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Staff of the Ministry of Culture was also present.
Two topics were discussed: translation and the law, and machine translation.
In fact, the accent was on private and civil law more than on criminal law.
DAP spoke at the Transius Conference held in Geneva on 18 to 20 June, talking about “Training and Accreditation of Court Interpreters and Translators”.
Considering the number of lectures – 3 keynote lectures, 72 academic and 13 institutional contributions that took place in parallel sessions – it was not easy to be able to attend all the most interesting presentations (from my point of view, of course) and it is difficult to review them all.
Generally speaking, since the event took place at the University of Geneva, most of the speakers were researchers and their presentations theoretical more than concrete.
Working Party on “e-justice”
EULITA was invited by the Council on 26 June to take part in the joint meeting of the WP on e-justice with practitioners at European level, i.e. legal stakeholders such as judges (ENCJ and EJN), lawyers (CCBE), notaries (CNUE), bailiffs (UEHJ and CEHJ), mediators (GEMME) and experts (EEEI and EuroExpert).
It was the first time for EULITA to be part of this forum where all Member States are represented – this time 25 national delegations out of 28 were present.
In her remarks, DAP explained how and why EULITA had been founded, emphasised the need for qualified and competent interpreters and translators in order for the courts to do justice fairly and underlined the importance for a LIT to be well informed and have access to the files.
She spoke about good practices to be followed, of ad hoc training for LIT (especially in case of languages of lesser diffusion) and of joint training between LIT and judges (and lawyers) as the objectives to be pursued.
Some of the questions put to the practitioners concerned their cooperation with the WP on e-justice, their expectations from the WP and the Member States in terms of assistance in creating interoperable systems, and the kind of help they would expect in order, in particular, to make the actions on registers of interpreters and translators succeed.
In light of the migratory situation and of the increasing movement of persons all over Europe, DAP evoked the importance of a cross-border exchange of information about available LIT (in particular for languages of lesser diffusion), the possibility of using, if necessary, remote interpreting in order to facilitate interpreting services, and therefore the need for a European database, which should be openly accessible in accordance with criteria to be defined at European level.
EULITA – whose budget and human resources are too low to sustain the role of leader in a new project – is however willing to help revamp the LIT Search project, which can only be reactivated if the WP and the MS specifically intervene. In order to create a useful, manageable and complete database it would be essential that MS that were not represented in that first project could participate and cooperate in the next one.