EULITA, the European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association, was founded in Antwerp, Belgium, on 26 November 2009. It is a non-profit association, established under the Criminal Justice Programme of the EU Commission’s Directorate-General of Freedom, Security and Justice (project number JLS/2007/JPEN/249). In its Mission statement on this website you will find in detail the objectives which EULITA pursues through its activities. (About us / Mission statement).
During its 7th General Assembly that was held in Vienna on 1 April 2017, the 30 full member associations that were either present or represented by proxy elected, for a mandate expiring in 2020, the new Executive Committee, whose members are: Daniela Amodeo Perillo, President; Geoffrey Buckingham and Jan Runesten, Vice-Presidents; Catherina Van den Brinková Štifterová, Secretary; Michaela Spracklin, Treasurer; Laura Izquierdo Valverde and Joanna Miler-Cassino, Members.
The newly elected Executive Committee of EULITA will certainly continue to work along the path traced by the former members who managed to establish and/or to take part in several European projects, such as TRAFUT (Training for the Future), QUALETRA (Quality in Translation), LIT Search (that concerns national and/or regional registers of legal interpreters and translators) and JUSTISIGNS (focussed on identifying competencies for sign language interpreting in legal settings and providing training for sign language interpreters). In June 2015 a draft proposal for an ISO standard on legal interpreting was submitted by EULITA to ISO. Following the normal procedure through the ISO hierarchy, the revised text will be soon put to vote to become an international standard. You will find more details and reports on all these projects and proposals in the left-hand margin of this page.
It is now our purpose to participate in a new European project on training whose details are going to be discussed in the near future.
Since its origin, one of EULITA’s priorities has been to promote cooperation between public institutions, legal services and legal professional orders as well as to introduce among them best working practices. In this respect, our natural partners are first of all the EU institutions as well as the European and international organizations and associations operating in this field: we will endeavour to improve our ‘modus operandi’ in order to develop even deeper contacts with these bodies and with all those involved in the implementation of the EU directives – 2010/64, 2012/13, 2012/29 among others – concerning these specific matters.
In our European and national legal orders, everyone must enjoy the right of defence, is entitled to a fair and public hearing and shall have the possibility of being advised and duly represented. For those who do not speak the language of the judge, these rights cannot be safeguarded without adequate interpretation and/or translation. In reality, we all know that these rights are not always guaranteed: one of EULITA’s main objectives for the next three years will thus be to enhance our presence before the competent authorities and stakeholders in order to raise awareness about the essential role of trained translators and interpreters in legal settings, and in particular about the importance of a high quality level of legal translation and interpretation.
In this perspective, our purpose is to assure our full support to the national associations of legal interpreters and translators with the aim to find new ways of cooperation with their respective national counterparts – judges, counsels, universities. Several universities are indeed associate members of EULITA and many of them organize ad-hoc training for legal interpreters and translators. By the way, it would be desirable and appropriate to increase – in most of our countries – the number of these courses that are of fundamental importance to our professions.
Our VOLUNTARIAT programme is an activity which helps to build closer ties to academia, an indispensable partner for us, whose results in the research field have until now been extremely useful for the development of interpreters’ and translators’ performances.
All these activities will have a better impact and a wider effect if we continue to cooperate with sister organizations in the field of interpreting and translation.
Associations and organizations that are interested in legal interpreting and translation issues and wish to know more about EULITA are cordially invited to contact the EULITA secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Daniela Amodeo Perillo
Luxembourg, April 2017
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