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Equality before the law, irrespective of language and culture?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ewa Illakowicz.

Globalisation and movement of people are producing increasing numbers of individuals who cannot communicate adequately in the language of the country in which they are living. Higher infant mortality and miscarriages of justice are among the risks affecting other-language-groups when essential public services, such as health, social and legal services, cannot be delivered effectively because service providers and clients do not share a language. This new social reality has starkly exposed how, despite warnings from the professions involved, existing language teaching, systems and practice leave countries ill-equipped for the C21 .

This seminar presentation looks at the issues raised in the criminal justice system, with particular reference to language factors, in order to meet domestic and European legal requirements to support the principle of equality across Europe and judicial co-operation between member states.

It is a summary of what is being done, including by five successive international projects supported by the EU Commission, to find rapid, reliable solutions in the following areas: •identifying target skills and systems •analysing existing skills realistically •training and assessing public service interpreters, translators and bilingual professionals •establishing a regulated language profession •training public service personnel to work with interpreters and translators and across cultures •training trainers •establishing international collaborations •involving academics

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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