Criminal justice services are increasingly turning to videoconference technology as a means of increasing efficiency in both national and cross-border proceedings. Video links exist between courts, police stations and prisons, and are used at different stages of proceedings. Given the current scale of migration and multilingualism in Europe, this development also concerns multilingual proceedings, meaning that there is a need to integrate interpreters into such video links. This trend is being reinforced by the recent European Directives 2012/13/EU on the right to information and 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, and Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, which will increase the demand for qualified legal interpreters in Europe in many language combinations.
At the same time, the current economic situation puts pressure on those responsible for interpreter deployment and poses a threat to maintaining the quality standards for interpreting set out in Directive 2010/64/EU. An efficient solution for integrating qualified legal interpreters into legal proceedings is therefore crucial to ensuring judicial efficiency and strengthening the rights of EU citizens. The multi-annual European e-Justice Action Plan (2008-2013) considers videoconferencing as being of particular importance for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of justice. Like two of the Directives mentioned above, it makes explicit reference to a secondary use of videoconferencing in legal proceedings, i.e. its use to gain access to a qualified legal interpreter.
These developments have led to many different configurations of multilingual videoconferencing. To use the full potential of videoconference technology in multilingual proceedings it will, however, be necessary to ensure that the outcomes of the proceedings are not adversely affected by the combined use of videoconference technology and interpreters. Research conducted to date shows that all forms of interpreting which lead to a separation of the interpreter from some or all participants pose potential difficulties. Research also suggests that whilst basic practical problems may be resolved quickly through initial training, increased exposure to videoconferencing and familiarisation, the combined complexities of technological mediation (through videoconference) and linguistic-cultural mediation (through an interpreter) may create deeper-rooted behavioural and communication problems which may change the dynamic of legal communication.
As a follow-up to the successful symposium in 2011, this symposium, organised by the EU project AVIDICUS 2 (led by the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey, 2011-13), will provide an update on current practice and research. The aims are to raise awareness of the potential uses and the limitations of multilingual videoconferencing in legal proceedings and to stimulate further discussion about
- how the combination of videoconferencing and interpreting affects the specific goals of legal communication,
- how problems can be overcome or mitigated,
- the role that system design, training and familiarisation can play in this process, and
- the questions arising for a future research agenda.
The symposium will include the views of international organisations on videoconference-based interpreting as well as research conducted in relation to its use in national and cross-border proceedings and will introduce an enhanced set of guidelines for multilingual videoconferencing in legal proceedings.
Andrew Constable, International Criminal Court
Peter Engels and Hans Van de Wal, European Criminal Bar Association
Paul van den Hoven, University of Tilburg, The Netherlands
Viive Jogevest, Estonian Police and Border Guard (tbc)
Maja Popovic, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Paul Pryce-Jones, European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters
David Tait, University of Western Sydney, Australia (tbc)
Patrick Twidle, Court of Justice of the European Union
Members of the AVIDICUS 2 consortium
Who should attend?
- Legal professionals (judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers) and public service providers
- Practising interpreters and interpreting service providers
- Representatives of interpreting service users
- Researchers in the field of legal interpreting including spoken-language and sign-language interpreting
- Specialists in the use of videoconference technology
- Videoconference system designers
- Representatives of educational and training institutions
Dr Sabine Braun, Dr Judith Taylor
Centre for Translation Studies
School of English and Languages
University of Surrey
Guildford GU2 7XH
Dr Katalin Balogh
Subfaculty Language and Communication
Lessius University College
Sint Andriesstraat 2
The symposium will take place at Lessius University College, Sint Andriesstraat 2, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium.
Registration fee: 40 GBP.
Conference dinner on Friday 19th April 2013: 40 GBP. Early registration for the dinner is required, as dinner places are strictly limited.
Participants will receive a copy of Braun, S. & J.L.Taylor (eds) (2012). Videoconference and remote interpreting in legal proceedings. Antwerp: Intersentia. This collection of papers presents the main findings of the AVIDICUS 1 Project and the International Symposium on Videoconference and Remote Interpreting in Legal Proceedings in 2011.
Registration is via the online shop of the University of Surrey. Please follow the link below. Please note that you need to register in the shop itself first, and then register for the symposium and, if you wish, the dinner. You will need to make a credit card payment to complete the registration process. Registration is only complete once payment has been made and a confirmation email received.
Link to registration: http://store.surrey.ac.uk/ (registration will open on 24 January 2013).
All enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This symposium has been organised by the European project AVIDICUS 2 (Assessment of Video-Mediated Interpreting in the Criminal Justice System) and is held with financial support of the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Commission. The event and its related materials reflect the views only of the organisers, presenters and participants and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.