Presentation on theme: "Quality in interpretation and translation as seen by users in pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings 25 th November 2011 Ljubljana Anna Mendel National."— Presentation transcript:
Quality in interpretation and translation as seen by users in pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings 25 th November 2011 Ljubljana Anna Mendel National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution International Cooperation Department
Structure of the presentation The right of the suspected or accused person to interpretation and translation in the pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings Status and qualifications of sworn translators in Poland Survey on the quality of legal interpretation and translation in Polish criminal proceedings Sworn translators and translators appointed ad hoc in Polish criminal proceedings Quality of interpretation and translation as seen by Polish users Factors determining the quality of interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings as seen by users Monitoring of interpretation and translation quality in criminal proceedings Areas, which could be changed in order to improve the quality of interpretation and translation, particularly in pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings
The right of the suspected or accused person to intepretation and translation safeguarded by the Polish Code of Criminal Procedure Article 204. § 1. An interpreter shall be summoned whenever it is necessary to examine: 1) a deaf or dumb person, with whom attempts at communicating with in writing have not sufficed, 2) a person without a command of Polish. § 2. An interpreter shall also be summoned 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. § 3. Provisions relating to court experts shall be applied to interpreters accordingly. Article 72. § 1. If the accused does not have a sufficient command of the Polish language, he has the right to use the aid of an interpreter free of charge. § 2. An interpreter should be called to actions with the participation of the accused referred to in § 1. § 3. The order on the presentation, supplementation, or change of charges, the indictment or a decision subject to review, or a decision concluding the proceedings shall be delivered to the accused referred to in § 1 with a translation. If the accused consents, only the translated decision concluding the proceedings may be announced to him, providing it is not subject to review.
The right of the suspected or accused person to translation and interpretation in the pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings Article 244 § 2. CCP ”The arrested person shall be informed immediately about the reasons of his arrest and his rights, including his right to avail himself of the aid of defence counsel, and his explanations shall be heard”. Article 300 CCP ”Prior to the first questioning, a suspect shall be informed about his rights: to give or refuse to provide explanations, or to answer questions, to submit motions for actions in inquiry or investigation, to use the assistance of a defense counselor, to acquaint himself finally with the materials of the proceedings, as well as of the right specified in Article 301 and on the duties and obligations specified in Articles 74, 75, 138 and 139. These instructions shall be given to the suspect in writing; the suspect should confirm receipt of the instructions with his signature”
Status and qualifications of s worn t ranslators in Poland 25 th November 2004 Act on the Profession of Sworn Translator Article 2.1. A sworn translator may be a natural person who: 1) is a Polish citizen or a citizen of a European Union Member State, a European Free Trade 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 Master degree or equivalent degree in the State referred to in paragraph 1; 6)has passed an examination in the field of translation and interpretation from the Polish language into the relevant foreign language and from that foreign language into the Polish language; hereinafter said examination shall be referred to as the "examination for sworn translators.
The State Examination for sworn translators The State Examination for the sworn translator Two parts of the examination: 1) written legal translation (translation of 2 legal or official texts from Polish into foreign language and 2 legal or official texts from foreign language and into Polish) 2) oral court interpreting - sight translation - consecutive interpreting Is the examination difficult? Last year’s statistics show that only one fifth of all candidates passed the state examination. From April 2010 to April 2011: 348 candidates took the examination 149 persons passed the written part 77 persons passed the exam = 22%
Norms with regard to the quality of interpretation and translation Se c tion 2 of the Code of Sworn Translator: „The sworn translator is a person of public trust, obliged to be reliable, honest and impartial, to maintain confidentiality, to refuse an order for justified reasons only, and to develop their professional qualifications. In particular, the sworn translator is obliged to carry out his or her translation 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”
Survey on the quality of legal interpretation and translation in Polish criminal proceedings conducted by: National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution 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 interpreters) to assess current practices to define common difficulties to make recommendations, if any, for changes.
Survey on the quality of legal interpretation and translation in Polish criminal proceedings Legal professional s 351 answers LIT 53 answers
Sworn translators and translators appointed ad hoc The criteria for summoning translators ad hoc: availability lack of sworn-translators/interpreters for rare languages time limits for translation service remuneration (low costs) place of residence – distance proficient knowledge of the foreign language participation in previous actions/proceedings experience refusal by sworn-translator/interpreter to provide a service colleague`s positive opinion about the translator/interpreter professionalism conscientiousness qualifications quality of translation provided by the same interpreter urgent situation readiness for cooperation with users knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings Which translator/interpreter was summoned in most cases?
Factors determining the quality of interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings as seen by users: knowledge of criminal law specialist terminology in Polish and in the foreign language experience proficient knowledge of the foreign language knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings qualifications of the interpreter or translator professionalism 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 interpreters/translators services as guarantee of the quality
Factors determining the quality of interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings as seen by sworn translators: access to the files before interpretation cooperation with actors of criminal proceedings knowledge of criminal law specialist terminology knowledge of the rules of criminal proceedings information about time, place, subject of case received before interpretation initial and ongoing training of translators/interpreters remuneration knowledge of the language used by actors of criminal proceedings before interpretation experience choosing the strategy of interpretation before examination/hearing possibility of conversation with judge/prosecutor/police officer before interrogation/hearing interpretation by the same interpreter in the same case
Quality of interpretation/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 interpretation/translation as seen by Polish users What in your opinion was the quality of interpretation/translation into the foreign language? What in your opinion was the quality of interpretation/translation into Polish?
Quality of interpretation/translation as seen by Polish users How did you assess the quality of interpretation/translation?
Competences and skills of sworn translators Did the interpreter have enough competences and skills to do the interpretation? 6% of users - negative answer s. P roblems: - 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 speech, and this had an impact on the reliability of interpreting - the interpreter had difficulties in explaining the institutions of the foreign law system which do not exist in Polish law.
Cooperation among translators/interpreters and users 12% of users answered in a negative manner: they find it unnecessary: “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 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 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) Negative answers Reasons: 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 : it was not necessary the interpreter did not ask for such information it is difficult to predict how long an interview or questioning will last
Do you willingly participate in the criminal proceedings as a translator/interpreter? 51% answers NO Reasons: fees are too low no higher fees for express translation no higher fees for work at night and on holidays/Sundays delays in payment of the remuneration stressful work environment lack of previous information about the case and no access to files suspected/accused person`s poor command of the language of interpretation high responsibility working conditions
The rates of fees provided in the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice: 1) approx. 9 €/h of interpretation 2) approx € for 1125 characters for translation from a foreign language (English/German/French) into Polish - 7 € into those foreign languages Was remuneration paid in a timely manner ? Rates of fees for translation and interpretation services in Poland The rates of fees provided in the Regulation of the Ministry of Justice are:
Availability of interpreters and translators 30% YES answers. Reasons: lack of interpreters/translators of rare languages in the region where the services were to be provided low fee rates lack of time refusal to provide services because of personal reasons the distance of translator`s/interpreter`s place of residence to the police station/prosecutor`s office recurrent delay in remuneration payment contact details not updated in the Register of Sworn Translators Have you had any difficulties in summoning the interpreter or translator?
Training programs Do you think that training in interpretion & translation services in criminal proceedings 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 interpretation in criminal proceedings?
Monitoring of translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings 40% of NO answers: recording of questioning does not have any impact on the quality of interpretation the quality of interpretation and translation depends on the interpreter’s competences and skills it could be stressful for the actors of criminal proceedings the questioning will be more complicated the prosecutor`s offices and police stations need to be equipped with recording devices costs will be higher and the questioning 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 interpretation and translation during criminal proceedings?
Is it possible to replace a translator/interpreter? Those who had, gave the following reasons for their 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, not justified absence of the interpreter during a hearing, the accused questioned the quality of interpreting, the significance of words, the summoned interpreter could not appear in the court, the appointed interpreter had difficulties with interpreting, which fact 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 interpretation and translation, particularly in pre- trial stage of proceedings? training for interpreters/translators in the field of the rules of criminal procedure and criminal law specialist terminology in Polish and in respective foreign language evaluation of interpreters/translators and their professional development translators/interpreters should be obliged to finish postgraduate studies in the field of translation and interpreting the fees should be higher to ensure good quality of service specialization of interpreters/translators translation of codes and other important legal acts to most commony used languages required
Are there any areas, which, in your opinion, could be changed in order to improve the quality of interpretation and translation, particularly in pre- trial stage of proceedings? (continued) recording of examination and hearing with the aim to monitor the quality of interpretation better availability of translators/interpreters (in particular of rare languages) interpreters/translators contact data should be updated notices of rights as well as the information about procedural rights should be translated into most commonly used foreign languages linguistic training for judges and prosecutors access to the files and information on the case before interpreting joint workshops for users and translators
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Anna Mendel National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution International Cooperation Department