Guest post – Select Committee evidence on legal interpreting

guest bookToday I would like to present a most valuable guest post from Dr Yvonne Fowler, who gave written evidence to the UK’s Justice Select Committee as part of its investigations into what can only be described as an outsourcing fiasco.

I believe that Dr Fowler’s paper covers the key issues in a clear, incisive and succinct way, and that the points raised can easily (and should) be transposed to apply to court interpreting globally.

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Guest post – Reporting from the Justice Interpreting seminar

guest bookToday Marta Stelmaszak is reporting from the seminar “Justice Interpreting: the Need for Quality Standards” held in London on 23 February last (see here). Marta is a Polish translator and interpreter from the UK and is “devoted to constant development”, including through her involvement on the Management Committee of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and her great blog. Over to you, Marta!

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Monday smiles – Crackpot UK laws

Many thanks to Mary Lynn for sending me this idea…

The UK’s most ancient laws are often a rich source of mirth – here is a short list, including a nod to the upcoming festive season. My absolute favorite, though, is the one about the taxman. 🙂 However many times I read it, it just goes round and round in my head!

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  • It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down.
  • Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned.
  • The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen.
  • It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing.
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour.

You might also like this post about the simplification of the UK statute book.

Lexacom face-to-face legal terminology workshops

Back in March, I posted about a series of legal terminology webinars presented by David Hutchins of Lexacom. Today I’d like to make you aware of his autumn programme of face-to-face courses to be held in London, England. The courses can also be organized for groups elsewhere – recent venues have been Prague, Bologna, Copenhagen and Stockholm, for example.

David’s courses are aimed at bringing knowledge of English common law both to lawyers from civil law jurisdictions, and to legal translators and interpreters.

David’s face-to-face courses are highly motivating and fast-paced, and have been very favorably reported on two occasions by the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI) – to see the articles click here, as well as being recommended for lawyers by the German DeutscheAnwaltAkademie and the Swedish Armed Forces.

In particular, I think that it is extremely refreshing that a solicitor of such experience is interested in working with translators, listening to their comments and generating such rich interaction – building those bridges I keep talking about… 🙂


David Hutchins has been a solicitor since 1967. He was until 1998 the Senior Partner of Hutchins & Co, Solicitors, London, a firm he founded in 1971. He has been responsible for, inter alia, the selection and supervision of trainee solicitors. He is currently a Practising Consultant with the firm.

His legal experience includes conveyancing, wills, probate, landlord and tenant, commercial contracts, employment law, criminal law, family law, professional negligence, personal injury claims and general civil litigation. He has been a frequent Guest Speaker on ‘English for Lawyers’ courses and is also an experienced small-group presenter. He speaks and reads French and has a working knowledge of German, Italian, and Latin. He was formerly a QLTT (Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Test) Oral Test Assessor for Altior Consulting & Training Ltd on behalf of the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority).

Important information for those in France who can pop over to London: Reimbursement of all or part of the course fee from FIF PL may be possible for French residents: an application may need to be made well in advance of the course date but see their website.

Regarding disclosure, I have no commercial relationship of any kind with the company Lexacom, and provide the above details purely for information purposes.

Applied Language Solutions – finally, something is to be done (hopefully)

Until now I have resisted the temptation to write about the British Applied Language Solutions / Ministry of Justice court interpreting contract – I felt that so many others had said all there was to say. For a tongue-in-cheek account, see Rainy London Translations’ post which contains lots of interesting links.

However, today, when I saw two tweets, I just had to put pen to blog, as it were.

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UK legislation 1267-present, online

To add to recent posts on access to national legislation, here is the UK: Do click to enlarge the picture on the right – a beautiful depiction of Common Law (in my opinion) from the Law Library of Congress archives.

Most types of primary legislation (e.g. Acts, Measures, N.I. Orders in Council) are held in ‘revised’ form:

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