Midyear Meeting

Should Courts Use Video Interpreters? ABA Standards Offer Guidance

The ABA House of Delegates has adopted new standards for court interpreter services and approved a resolution urging adequate funding to implement them.

The ABA Standards for Language Access in Courts are described as a “blueprint” to help courts designing and implementing a system of language access. They acknowledge that technology can play a role in bringing better qualified interpreters to the courtroom.

Technology issues are discussed in the commentary to Standard 4.3, which says courts should provide the most competent interpreter services in a manner that is best suited to the nature of the proceeding.

According to the commentary, “Courts should provide competent interpreter services during all legal proceedings through the use of staff court interpreters and contracted interpreters, who appear either in‐person or through the use of remote telephonic or video technology.”

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