Opinion Concerning Proposal for Legislation Regarding Court Interpreters
July 18, 2013
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (“JFBA”) has prepared its “Opinion Concerning the Proposal for Legislation Regarding Court Interpreters” dated July 18, 2013, and submitted it to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General.
1. Regarding court interpreters at criminal trials, etc., the following matters should be stipulated by law:
(1) The establishment of a system that lists the names of interpreters based on their qualifications, in order to ensure the quality and abilities of interpreters.
(2) The establishment of a system that provides continual training for interpreters, so as to maintain and improve their abilities.
2. Regarding court interpreters at criminal trials, etc., the following matters should be stipulated in the Rules of the Supreme Court (Rules of Criminal Procedure), etc.:
(1) The establishment of a remuneration system that guarantees secure income for interpreters.
(2) Regulation of the following matters, so as to ensure the quality of interpreters in open court:
a) Selection of multiple interpreters, as a general rule, in order to prevent the occurrence of incorrect interpretations.
b) Mandatory provision of opportunities allowing interpreters to have advance preparation for trials.
c) Stipulation on such issues as audio recording, objections, and expert examination for after-the-fact verification.
d) Obligation of consideration by case-related persons in general and in making efforts to provide the case-related documents in advance.
e) Obligation of consideration by courts in general and when the sentence is handed down at court.