Criminal justice services are increasingly turning to multilingual videoconference technology as a means of increasing efficiency in both national and cross-border proceedings. There are already video links between courts, police stations and prisons, and these are used at different stages of proceedings. Given the current scale of migration and multilingualism in Europe, this development also affects multilingual proceedings and it is necessary to integrate interpreters into such video links.
This is confirmed by the European Directives 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings, 2012/13/EU on the right to information in criminal proceedings and 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.
As a consequence, the demand for highly qualified legal interpreters in Europe, with many language combinations, is bound to increase. However, the current economic situation poses a threat to efforts to maintain the quality standards for interpreting. An efficient approach to integrating qualified legal interpreters into legal proceedings is therefore crucial to ensuring judicial efficiency and strengthening the rights of EU citizens.
The multi-annual (2008-13) European e-Justice Action Plan considers videoconferencing to be of particular importance for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of justice in this context.
After its successful symposium in 2011, the EU project AVIDICUS 2 is organising a follow-up event that will take place in Antwerp on 19-20 April 2013 and provide an update on current practice and research. An enhanced set of guidelines for multilingual videoconferencing in legal proceedings will be presented and discussions will address:
- 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.
For further information, please go to: http://www.videoconference-interpreting.net/sProgramme.html