Project Number 538899-LLP-1-2013-1-IE-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
This project represents a ground-breaking initiative focussing on identifying competencies for interpreting in legal settings and providing training for both qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters.
'Legal settings' refer to contexts such as the court room scenario, working with solicitors, barristers and lawyers and dealing with the national police services, immigration, customs and border security.
The target groups include qualified and qualifying signed language interpreters working in legal settings; Deaf people and legal professionals.
Communication problems across languages and cultures are well known in all parts of the European Union. Whether a Deaf citizen is involved in criminal or civil law or presenting at a police station, facing an arrest or indeed seeking information from a legal professional - the quality of decisions and outcomes and actions arising is to a large extent dependent on accurate communication. Non-professional interpreting or translation can lead to miscarriages of justice. Many countries are running the risk of having interpreters (and translators) being held in contempt of court as a result of an absence of quality standards, stringent vetting procedures and adequate professional training. In the UK, for example the Ministry of Justice released figures showing there had been 2,232 complaints about language services in court since the beginning of 2012.
In order to establish equal rights, it is vital that lawmakers as well as policy makers in law have a comprehensive understanding of the linguistic complexities of signed languages and a recognition of an interpreter’s role.
The CPD course for legal professionals thus will address the fundamental aspects of Deaf culture, signed languages and working with a signed language interpreter, but also create an environment to influence policy through engagement of expertise and knowledge transfer from the experience of partners and their international links including the US experiences that will be drawn on from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.
This project focuses on providing a 5 credit course benchmarked and mapped against ECT and ECVET
framework for working signed language interpreters. All such interpreters will be qualified or in the process of obtaining their initial qualification. JUSTISIGNS aims to provide qualified and qualifying sign language interpreters (SLI) new competencies in interpreting within a legal setting. None of the partner countries have in place VET training for those wishing to interpret in legal settings as no such course exists. For the proposes of JUSTISIGNS, legal settings is referred to in a generic context referring to the court room scenario, working with solicitors, barristers and lawyers and dealing with the national police services, immigration, customs and border security.
Two courses will be developed. The first will be for European interpreters’ VET and continuous professional development (CPD). It will be 5 credit course and map-able onto a ECVETS framework. A second 5-Credit course for legal professionals will be developed on working with interpreters, understanding Deaf culture, signed languages and communications. In addition the course will deal with the complexities of signed language interaction in for example evidence taking and witness statements and this will be developed for legal professionals.
Recognition, transparency, certification
Access for disadvantaged
Utilization and distribution of results
Open and distance learning
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
description of new occupation profiles
material for open learning
open and distance learning
program or curricula
transparency and certification
• An on-line course for sign language interpreters, deaf people and front-line legal professionals in 4
countries carrying 5 credits.
• Competency Based Skills Portfolio log book
• A guide for legal professionals working with Deaf communities and sign language interpreters to
improve their communication skills;
• An information resource for Deaf people in the national sign language to better understand the
• Moot simulations and courtroom skills for interpreters workshop;
• Training posters with practical legal/sign language/Deaf culture & communication tips;
• Case studies and videos