National courts

  • Christiane J. DRIESEN (AWW Universität Hamburg / ISIT)
    Legal interpretation: overcoming an apparent complexity
    2016, Vol. XXI-1, pp. 91-110

    In this article the author draws attention to misunderstandings surrounding court interpreting. Various facets are highlighted to demonstrate their distinct nature in spite of considerable complexity.Starting with an explanation of how this designation was adopted within the framework the European Union, the article draws a comparison between the task of interpreters at international courts and tribunals and interpreters at national courts. The obvious parallels relate to the type of discourse in court and the professional code of ethics. In the light of the challenges this implies there is an urgent need to adapt interpreter training accordingly, especially in the case of languages of lesser diffusion. In line with the tradition of the Nuremberg Trials, international courts employ experienced interpreters as a matter of course, or if the need arises they will organise in-house training in order to reach the equivalent standard. The article proposes a curriculum of further education, including languages of lesser diffusion, taking into account the challenges of interpreting at national courts.Court interpreting covers a wide area of law and must be considered in terms of human rights and the defence of basic freedoms.