Presentation on theme: "Polish Survey: Quality of interpreting and translation as seen by users (pre-trial proceedings) TRAFUT - Training for the Future EU Project: JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1549."— Presentation transcript:
Polish Survey: Quality of interpreting and translation as seen by users (pre-trial proceedings) TRAFUT - Training for the Future EU Project: JUST/2010/JPEN/AG/1549 Workshop in Antwerp - October 18-20, 2012 Zofia Rybinska Anna Mendel
Survey on the quality of interpreting and translation in criminal proceedings devised and conducted - specially for the purpose of the TRAFUT Project by - the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution - the Polish Society of Sworn and Specialised Translators TEPIS objectives - to examine issues associated with translation and interpreting in criminal proceedings - to learn how the issue of quality is perceived from both perspectives (that of legal professionals and that of translators and interpreters) - to assess current practices - to define shared difficulties - to make recommendations, if any, for changes
Survey on the quality of interpreting and translation in Polish criminal proceedings addressed to: - judges specializing in criminal cases - prosecutors - advocates (barristers or attorneys-at-law) - police officers - sworn translators/interpreters form two electronic questionnaires - for legal professionals - 32 questions - for translators /interpreters - 28 questions available on the websites of: - NSJPP - for judges, advocates, prosecutors, police officers - TEPIS - for translators/interpreters - Ministry of Justice - information and link to the TEPIS website only from September 1st to October 15, 2011 the sample included a limited number of respondents but important issues were pointed out
Survey on the quality of interpreting and translation in Polish criminal proceedings: the Polish context - The rights of suspected/accused persons to the free services of an interpreter and translator have been respected by Polish law ever since Poland signed the European Convention on Human Rights in 1991 Assistance of an interpreter/translator - Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 204 §1) participation in the examination/hearing of: deaf or dumb persons a person without a command of Polish. whenever it is necessary to translate into Polish a document written in a foreign language, or to translate a Polish document into a foreign language. If the suspected/accused person has no sufficient command of the Polish s/he has the right: - be informed about their rights (Article 300) - to use the a ssistance of an interpreter free of charge (Article 72 §1) - to have the order on the presentation, supplementation, or change of charges, the indictment or a decision subject to review, or a decision concluding the proceedings delivered with a translation.
Status of Sworn Translators /Interpreters i n Poland first legal instrument concerning sworn translators /interpreters - Until to sworn translators / interpreters performed only an auxiliary function for the court and were appointed by respective regional courts The Act on the Profession of Sworn Translator /Interpreter of November 25, 2004 (valid from 2005) - upgraded the legal standing of sworn translators /interpreters: auxiliary function uplifted to the profession - imposed greater professional accountability for their acts, tasks and duties - defined requirements for practicing the profession (Art icle 2) - one of the most demanding and progressive legislation in EU countries
Status and qualifications of Sworn Translators /Interpreters in Poland The Act on the Profession of Sworn Translator /Interpreter of 25 th November 2004 (Art icle 2) A sworn translator /interpreter may be a natural person who: 1) is a Polish citizen or a citizen of a European Union Member State, a European Free Trade A Agreement Member State - party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, Swiss Confederation or, subject to reciprocity, is a citizen of another state: 2) knows the Polish language; 3) has full capacity for acts in law; 4) has not been punished for an intentional offence, fiscal offence or for an unintentional offence against the safety of economic dealings; 5) is a graduate of higher education institution and obtained magister [MA] degree or equivalent degree in the State referred to in paragraph 1; 6) has passed an examination in the field of translation and interpreting from the Polish language into the relevant foreign language and from that foreign language into the Polish language…. ". 2. The command of the Polish language shall be confirmed by passing the examination for sworn translators /interpreters.
Requirements for obtaining the right to practice the profession of sworn translator /interpreter - Specialist examination before the State Examining Board at the Ministry of Justice - Certificate of Sworn Translator /Interpreter issued by the Ministry of Justice - Sworn Translator /Interpreter ’s name entered in the (National) Register of Sworn Translators /Interpreters kept by the Ministry of Justice Examination - a good sieve ; - approximate passing rate = 22%
Norms re lating to the quality of interpreting and translation - No explicit norms in the Polish legal system - Code of Sworn Translator /Interpreter (TEPIS) The sworn translator /i nterpreter - a person of public trust, - obliged to be reliable, honest and impartial to maintain confidentiality, to refuse an order for justified reasons only, to develop his or her professional qualifications - obliged to carry out translation /interpretin g with special care, maintaining fidelity to the source text according to the rules of specialist translation and formal and legal principles of judicial and legal translation (Section 2) - Final Report on the Reflection Forum on Multilingualism and Interpreting Training - professional profile of LI defined by academics and professionals
Survey on the quality of interpreting and translation in Polish criminal proceedings Legal professionals submit t ed 351 answers Translators / interpreters submitted 53 answers Total = 404
Choice: sworn translators or ad hoc appointed I/T ? Q: What are the criteria for summoning ad hoc appointed I/T ? A: availability lack of sworn-translators /interpreters for rare languages refusal by sworn-translator /interpreter to provide a service time limit set for translation /interpreting remuneration (low costs) place of residence (distance) proficient knowledge of the foreign language participation in previous actions/proceedings experience c olleague ’ s positive opinion about the translator/interpreter professionalism conscientiousness qualifications quality of translation/interpretation provided by the translator/ interpreter (knowledge of criminal law specialized terminology in Polish and in the foreign language) urgent situation readiness for cooperation with users knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings Interpreter/Translator summoned in most criminal cases
Factors determining the quality of interpreting and translation in criminal proceedings as seen by users: qualifications of the interpreter/translator proficient knowledge of the foreign language knowledge of criminal law specialized terminology in the Polish and in the foreign languages knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings professionalism experience cooperation with actors of criminal proceedings information about time, place, subject of case received before interpreting remuneration conscientiousness meeting deadlines for translation of documents sworn translators /interpreters ‘ services as guarantee of the quality
Factors determining the quality of interpreting and translation in criminal proceedings as seen by sworn translators /interpreters : access to the files before interpreting cooperation with users knowledge of criminal law specialized terminology knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings information about the time, place, subject of the case received before interpreting initial and ongoing training of translators/interpreters remuneration understanding the language used by suspects before interpreting experience choosing the strategy of interpreting before examination/hearing possibility of conversation with judge/prosecutor/police officer before interrogation/hearing interpreting by the same interpreter in the same case
Quality of interpreting/translation as seen by Polish users Did the translator/interpreter know the concepts and terminology of Polish criminal law? Did the translator/interpreter know the concepts and terminology of criminal law in the foreign language?
Quality of interpreting/translation as seen by Polish users What in your opinion was the quality of interpreting/ translation into the foreign language? What in your opinion was the quality of interpreting/ translation into Polish?
Quality of interpreting/translation as seen by Polish users On what basis did you assess the quality of interpreting/translation?
Competences and skills of sworn translators /interpreters Did the interpreter have enough competences and skills to do the interpreting? 6% of users - negative answer problems: - lack of knowledge of legal terminology was significant - lack of knowledge of the rules of criminal procedure was significant - the interpreter was shocked by the drastic elements of the testimony, and this had an impact on the reliability of interpreting - the interpreter had difficulties in explaining the differing legal institutions.
Cooperation between translators/interpreters and users 12% of users - provide no information to the interpreter about the legal classification, subject, time and circumstances of the case of the criminal proceedings because: - they find it unnecessary : A: “in my opinion it was not necessary as the role of interpreter is to interpret somebody's words” “it is not necessary to perform the task. The circumstances do not matter because the interpreter either knows a particular word or does not” “the interpreter should manage to interpret without previous knowledge of the facts of the case ” - the interpreter did not ask for such information - the professional secrecy of the case should be kept Q: Did the interpreter receive the most relevant information concerning criminal proceedings in advance (legal classification, time, place and subject matter of the prohibited act)?
Were the files in the pre-trial stage shown to the interpreter before interpreting? ( question addressed to prosecutors ) Those prosecutors who gave negative answers explained that: it was not necessary the interpreter has not asked for such information professional secrecy should be kept
Did the interpreter receive information about the expected time of interpreting ? 14% of respondents who gave negative answers explained that: it is difficult to predict how long an interview or examination will last it was not necessary the interpreter did not ask for such information
Interpreters’ and translators’ willingness to take assignments in criminal proceedings Interpreters who gave negative answers mentioned the following reasons: fees are too low no higher fees for express translation/interpreting no higher fees for work at night and on bank holidays/Sundays delays in payment of the remuneration stressful work environment lack of earlier information about the case and no access to files when interpreting is done in a foreign language for the suspected/accused person, the ir insufficient level of linguistic competences makes the interpreting difficult high responsibility working conditions Do you willingly participate in criminal proceedings as a translator/interpreter?
The fees: 1) 9 euro/ per hour of interpreting 2) 5.5 euro for 1125 characters for translation from a foreign language (English/ German/French) into Polish and 7 euro into those foreign languages Was remuneration paid in a timely manner ? Remuneration of sworn translators /interpreters in Poland The fees provided in the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice are:
Availability of interpreters and translators 30% with the “YES” answer mentioned the following reasons: lack of interpreters/translators of rare languages in the region where the services were to be provided fee rates - low lack of time refusal by I/T to provide services because of personal reasons the distance of interpreter ’ s place of residence to the police station/ prosecutor ’ s office recurrent delay in remuneration payment lack of updated information in the Register of Sworn Translators /Interpreters Have you had any difficulties in summoning the interpreter or translator?
Training programs Do you think that training in communicating with the assistance of an interpreter/translation should be introduced to the curriculum of training run for judges, prosecutors, police officers, advocates? Do you think the training (as mentioned in the preceding question) would be instrumental in improving quality of translation and interpreting in criminal proceedings ?
Monitoring of translation and interpreting quality in criminal proceedings 40% of respondents with the NO answer: - recording of examinations does not have any impact on the quality of interpreting - the quality of interpreting and translation depends on the interpreter /translator ’s competences and skills - the statements/examinations are not recorded - it could be stressful for the actors of criminal proceedings - the examination will be more complicated - the prosecutor ’ s offices and police stations need to be equipped with recording devices - costs will be higher and examination s longer - when the interpreter is a professional the recording is not needed Could recording of an examination of the suspected/ arrested person in pre-trial proceedings have an impact on the quality of legal interpreting and translation during criminal proceedings?
Is it possible to replace a translator/interpreter ? Reasons for such decision : the quality of interpreting was unsatisfactory (the suspected/arrested person asked for a change of interpreter) the interpreter could not understand what the suspected/arrested person said unjustified absence of the interpreter during a hearing the quality of interpreting, the significance of words was questioned by the accused the summoned interpreter could not appear in the court the appointed interpreter had difficulties with interpreting, what had negative impact on the duration of the hearing the translator did not provide service in due time lack of knowledge of legal specialized terminology and the rules of criminal procedure difficulties in arriving to the place where the service was to be provided Have you ever decided to replace the interpreter/translator and/or submitted a motion to that extent in criminal proceedings? Under the Code of Criminal Procedure (article 196§ 3) the expert can be changed if his reliability, impartiality or other important qualifications are questioned.
Are there any areas, which, in your opinion, could be changed in order to improve the quality of interpreting, particularly in pre-trial proceedings? post-diploma studies in the field of translation and interpreting should be obligatory training for interpreters/translators in the field of the rules of criminal procedure and criminal law specialized terminology in Polish and in respective foreign language should be provided specialization of interpreters/translators - advisable evaluation of interpreters/translators and of their professional development the fees should be higher to ensure good quality of service translation of the codes of EU States - required recording of interviews and hearings with the aim to monitor the quality of interpreting better availability of translators/interpreters (in particular of rare languages) should be ensured interpreters/translators contact data should be updated linguistic training for judges and prosecutors - required access to the files and information on the case before interpreting – should be provided joint workshops for users and interpreters/translators - to be organized
Final Report on the Survey on the Quality of Interpreting and Translation in Criminal Proceedings - all issues raised in the survey are addressed and recommendations provided - published in December sent to the Ministry of Justice and all interested parties - available on the TEPIS website in Polish
Final Report on the Survey on the Quality of Interpreting and Translation in Criminal Proceedings Examples of typical problems and recommendations: P: availability of interpreters/translators, esp. of rare language R: the use of video-mediated interpreting should be expanded; P: monitoring the quality of interpretation and decisions made by legal professionals R: proceedings should be recorded; P: cooperation between legal professionals and sworn translators (lack of awareness by legal professionals of the specific nature of sworn translators’ work; no access to files - good will needed) R: training for legal professionals on how to work with sworn translators should be launched;
Final Report on the Survey on the Quality of Interpreting and Translation in Criminal Proceedings P: sworn translators’ insufficient knowledge of criminal law and speciali z ed terminology, register R: better access to continuing professional training (e-learning) should be created R: trainings organized in cooperation with foreign partners (associations, LIT-s, universities) to be considered; P: need for uniform terminology, for translation of the codes of EU States (eg.3 equivalents for a name of a court) R: glossaries with officially accepted foreign equivalents should be prepared and published on websites (no indication of who should do this); P: remuneration - too low fees as cause of evading court assignments by ST and inattention to continuing professional development R: fixed rates should be raised to a commensurate level - revision of rates and introduction of additional rates to the Regulation of the M inistry o f J ustice ; P: lack of knowledge of the Code of Sworn Translator/Interpreter among legal professionals R: joint workshops for users and interpreters/translators should be organized;
TEPIS’ actions in at the initiative of TEPIS, the National Forum of Sworn Translators /Interpreters was organized (March 10) to discuss the working conditions and the status of LIT ; representatives of the Ministry of Justice invited but failed to attend - Open Letter sent jointly by the three Polish associations of translators and interpreters, the co-organizers of the Forum, to the Minister of Justice. In the reply we read, among other things: “….With regard to improving the culture of cooperation between law enforcement and judicial bodies and interpreters/translators it should be agreed that proper work conditions have a significant influence on the quality of outcomes and are thus reflected in fair judicial decisions. Therefore, with a view to implementing this postulate, the Minister of Justice shall consider the request to the National School of Judic i a ry and Public Prosecution that the pragmatics of cooperation with interpreters/translators in the training curricula for trainees and practicing judges and prosecutors be included. …..” TEPIS - developed the programme for the training of judges and prosecutors - offered their readiness to launch it within the framework of the courses run by the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution NSJPP - interested but the offer made too late for the academic year ; open to the organization of such training even in 2013 if savings can be generated.
Acknowledgements Anna Mendel National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution International Cooperation Department Final Report on the Survey on the Quality of Interpreting and Translation in Criminal Proceedings Prepared by Anna Mendel National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution, International Cooperation Department Published in December 2011 Available on: