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The Face of Justice: Historical Aspects of Court Interpreting

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Historically, although overall attitudes to court interpreting vary over time, certain issues are perennial : in particular, an individual's right (or otherwise) to interpretation (entitlement), deciding whether a need for interpretation exists (determination), and interpreter competence (quality). This paper strives to convey an awareness of the various difficulties that seem from case reports to have existed historically — and may indeed still be present in various judicial systems — in addressing these issues in a way which seems satisfactory to the various participants involved. It does so by quoting extensively the words of some of the judicial actors who over the decades have addressed this vital, but often woefully under-considered issue. The lamentable plight in which some language-handicapped defendants have found themselves may be guessed at from appellate courts' comments about the behaviour of lower courts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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  • International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
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