skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 141298 Find in a Library
Title: No Hablo Ingles: Court Interpretation as a Major Obstacle to Fairness for Non-English Speaking Defendants
Journal: Vanderbilt Law Review  Volume:46  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1993)  Pages:175- 196
Author(s): M B Shulman
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 22
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This note analyzes the deficiencies, both practical and conceptual, of the current system of court interpretation in the State and Federal court systems.
Abstract: The discussion first examines the statutory and constitutional bases for the right to a court interpreter, followed by consideration of the unfairness of the current system to non-English speaking defendants. A conceptual framework for an examination of court interpretation is then developed by drawing an analogy between hearsay and court interpretation and then applying the conceptual framework to the problem by analyzing what safeguards should be incorporated into the system based on how court interpretation might qualify as a hearsay exception. A number of reforms are proposed. The reforms suggested are an extension of the Federal Court Interpreters Act to State courts, the development of some form of certification for interpreters of all languages, checks on the work of interpreters, increased attention to the attraction of competent people to the profession of interpreter, and an absolute prohibition on interpretation by interested parties. 96 footnotes
Main Term(s): Interpreter Services
Index Term(s): Languages; Right to fair trial
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.