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Ohio Supreme Court Adopts Court Interpreters Amendments

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/ruleamendments/documents/Amend.%20to%20Sup.%20R.%2080-87%20&%20Appendix%20H%20(FINAL)%20(J.%20VanNorman%20&%20B.%20Romero).doc (Word Document)

The Supreme Court of Ohio will begin the certification of court interpreters in 2010 as a result of recently adopted amendments. Amendments to Rules 80 through 87 and Appendix H of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio become effective Jan. 1, 2010. Justices concurred 7-0 in adopting the amendments.

The rules provide the mechanism to screen, test and certify interpreters. Bilingual individuals will now be able to obtain the credential by completing an application to attend training, take written and oral exams, and comply with the professional standards provided by the court. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a citizen or legal resident of the United States or have the legal right to remain and work in the United States, and must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

The certification will ensure that interpreters working in the courts meet the minimum standards of language fluency. Applicants will take the written examination developed by the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts, an arm of the National Center for State Courts. Candidates will also take an oral examination, to measure their English and foreign language ability.

Each Supreme Court credentialed interpreter will take an oath or affirmation under which the interpreter pledges to know, understand, and act according to the Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters and Translators, as set forth by the rule.

Credentialed interpreters will complete at least 24 credit hours of continuing education offered or accredited by the Interpreter Services Program for each two-year reporting period. The program will keep a roster of Supreme Court certified interpreters and will make this information available to the courts.

State and federal law require complete and accurate interpretations in legal proceedings. These rules ensure that constitutional guarantees are afforded to all linguistic minorities, including deaf and hard of hearing populations.

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