Courtroom language (2)

JOHNSON wrote last week that the international courts face hurdles in dealing with different languages. Some courts with limited linguistic purviews, like the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, deal well with language. Their translation and interpretation mechanisms run smoothly. The task is naturally tougher for courts like the International Criminal Court, where needs change with each case, and often involve languages with fewer skilled interpreters and other resources available. Success rates aside, ensuring justice through adequate language services forms an ideological cornerstone of international courts. Technology, time and money are accordingly devoted to translation and interpretation.

Domestic courts in America should take a leaf from this book. Several courts, especially in diverse cities and in the south, do offer multilingual services.

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