Researchers at the UA take part in a project that analyses the use of videoconference technology in bilingual legal proceedings
Alicante, 22 April 2015
The University of Alicante (UA) is taking part in a European project aimed at analysing the implementation and use of videoconference technology in court proceedings that involve interpreters.
Also known as “AVIDICUS 3 – Interpreting assessment by means of videoconference technology in the framework of criminal proceedings” and funded by the European Commission, the project also includes the participation of the University of Surrey (United Kingdom), coordinator of the project, KU Leuven – Antwerp (Belgium), Institut Mines Télécom (France), the University of Trieste (Italy), the Ministry of Justice and Security (Holland) and the University of Alicante. The project will be developed over a two-year period.
The use of videoconference technology increases the efficiency in legal procedures both nationally and internationally and is increasingly used in different stages of court proceedings. Many courts, police stations and prisons have videoconference equipment installed. If we take into account the level of multilinguism in Europe, the use of this technology is becoming greater and has major implications when involving interpreters in the communicative process, explains Dr. Cynthia Giambruno, coordinator of the project in Spain, alongside Dr. Juan Miguel Ortega, both professors in the Department of Translation and Interpreting at the University of Alicante.
Given the importance of the role of videoconferences in the European legal system, bilingual videoconferences could become frequently used in legal procedures. When installing videoconference technology, special features of the interpreter’s intervention should be taken into account to then make the necessary adjustments that allow a correct inclusion.
Juan Miguel Ortega comments that “There are countries that have advanced solutions, in other words, they have the technology and even interpreting and interpreters have been taken into account when establishing the design and display, as is the case of the Metropolitan Police Service of London (United Kingdom) or the legal system in Holland. Other countries also have videoconference equipment, and when interpreters are needed, they find ad hoc solutions to accommodate their presence according to the screens and cameras, etc. In a sense, it can have an influence on the correct development of the procedures”.
AVIDICUS 3 has the aim of analysing and assessing the possibilities and technical details of using videoconference equipment in bilingual court procedures, by means of collecting information regarding good practices and experiences gathered in the member states of the European Union in which videoconference technology is used. The work carried out by this group of researchers helps to obtain a better understanding of possible difficulties when introducing this technology as well as developing viable solutions.
Once this analysis step has been finalised, training resources will be developed on the effective use of videoconference technology in the European Union for judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police officers and interpreters, as well as politicians, who can all make a better use of the possibilities that these technical measures facilitate in the framework of proceedings mediated by interpreters, both nationally and internationally.
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