Monday, October 08, 2012

Ohio Supreme Court's "foreign language interpreter" rules

The Ohio Supreme Court's new monthly Court News Ohio Review newsletter this month has a cover article about the state's new interpreter requirements going into effect next January.

Ohio's court interpreter program actually goes back to the mid-90s when interpreter qualifications, policies, and training were initially identified by the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness. In 1993, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio State Bar Association created that commission to examine the issue of racial bias in the justice system. Its report was issued in 1999.

In June 2003, the Supreme Court became part of the National Center for State Courts' Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification (now Consortium for Language Access in the Courts). It then created its Advisory Committee to Study Use of Court Interpreters in April 7, 2005, which, in turn, issued its Report on the Use of Interpreters in Ohio Courts in February 2006. Findings of the report included Ohio's having no standard qualification process for interpreters and no guidelines, policies or procedures to help assist courts in the use of interpreters in the courtroom…

By the end of 2008 the Supreme Court had rules, guidelines, policies and procedures, and had set them out for public comment, and by the beginning of last year it had its first class of 23 certified interpreters.

Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup. R. 80. Definitions and 88. Appointment of a Foreign Language Interpreter or Sign Language Interpreter.) were finalized & adopted by the Judicial Conference on
June 11, 2011. They go into effect January 1st. 2013  (Here)

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