Oaths, rules, & ethics

Oaths, Code’s of Ethics, Rules and Who Regulates Interpreters

INTERPRETER’S OATH

The interpreter’s oath symbolizes our dedication to providing this service with integrity.  It is a pledge that binds us to professional responsibility and neutrality which protects the sanctity of the testimony.  The court reporter, who is an officer of the court, administers the oath to the interpreter first before administering the oath to the witness through the interpreter. 

 

 

See the “Uniform Format Manual” on the Court Reporters Certification Board at  www.crcb.state.tx.us/ufm.asp .

              

 

OATH TO THE INTERPRETER

 

The Interpreters oath that is standard among court reporters in Texas is:

 

COURT REPORTER: "Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the interpretation you will give in this deposition will be from English to Spanish/Vietnamese/etc. and from Spanish/Vietnamese/etc. to English to the best of your ability?"

 

INTERPRETER: "I do."

 

There are other versions from around the United States that demonstrate a wide range of duties and responsibilities accurately reflecting the true skill and training of a qualified interpreter;  See the Judges’ Guide to Standards for Interpreted Proceedings” at http://www.ncsconline.org/wc/publications/Res_CtInte_ModelGuideChapter6Pub.pdf

 

Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will interpret accurately, completely and impartially, using your best skill and judgment in accordance with the standards prescribed by law and [the code of ethics for legal interpreters]*; follow all official guidelines established by this court for legal interpreting or translating, and discharge all of the solemn duties and obligations of legal interpretation and translation?

 

Interpreter Oath - Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 42, §4(b)

Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will interpret accurately, completely and impartially, using your best skill and judgment in accordance with the standards prescribed by law and the Rules of Ethics for Spoken Foreign Language Interpreters in Tennessee Courts; that you will follow all official guidelines established by this court for legal interpreting or translating, and discharge all of the solemn duties and obligations of legal interpretation and translation?

 

The Courtroom Interpreter: A User’s Guide and Checklist

 Adapted from an article by Judge Lynn W. Davis, Utah Bar Journal 9 (February 1996):26.

Go to http://www.ncsconline.org/wc/publications/Res_CtInte_StateCrtJV20N1CrtRmInterpPub.pdf .

 

Interpreters Oath

The court should make a preliminary determination on the basis of the interpreter’s testimony that the interpreter is qualified and then have the following oath administered:

 

 “Do you solemnly swear that you will well and truly and to the best of your ability discharge the duties of interpreter and translate from English into _________, and from ________ into English such questions and answers as shall be put to the witness and received from the witness in the case now pending before the Court, so help you God?”

 

Supreme Court of Florida

RE: Standard Jury Instructions In Civil Cases (NO. 05-1), Case No. SC05-1999 Proposal A-1

(Oath to Interpreter): Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will make a true interpretation to the witness of all questions or statements made to [him][her] in a language which that person understands, and interpret the witness's statements into the English language, to the best of your abilities, So Help You God?

 

Supreme Court of Nebraska

For more information, go to  http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/interpreters/oath.pdf .

 

Ž I, do solemnly affirm that I will be bound by the Nebraska Code of Professional Responsibility for Interpreters in the performance of my duties and assignment as a Court Interpreter in the Nebraska State Court System.

 

Ž I will maintain high standards of conduct to preserve the integrity, independence, and neutrality of the adjudicative system.

 

Ž I will conduct myself in a manner consistent with the dignity of the Court.

 

Ž I will remain impartial, protect confidentiality, refrain from giving legal advice or personal opinions, and disclose to the Court any conflict of interest.

 

Ž In all legal proceedings, I will thoroughly assess and honestly reveal to the Court my ability to satisfy an assignment competently.

 

Ž When appointed to serve, I will interpret completely and accurately using my best skill and judgment.

 

Ž I will continually strive to improve my skills and knowledge as a Court Interpreter and to elevate the standards of the profession.

 

Ž I will respect the Courts of Nebraska, its judicial officers, and all parties involved in legal proceedings.

 

 

 

INTERPRETERS’ CODES OF ETHICS

 

Codes of ethics have proven to be critical for the understanding and adherence of the oath given to the judicial interpreter.  They serve to protect both the interpreter and the recipients of the service rendered by an interpreter.  They safeguard the principles of the judicial system.

In Texas, licensed court interpreters are bound to the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Licensed Court Interpreters Administrative Rules of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation; see them online at http://www.license.state.tx.us/court/lcirules.htm#80100 .

 

The Texas canons are:

Federal Court interpreters have the code  “Standards for Performance and Professional Responsibility for Contract Court Interpreters in the Federal Courts.” 

See it online at http://www.uscourts.gov/interpretprog/Standards_for_Performance.pdf  

 

The Federal canons are: 

                                              

 

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators has a Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibilities. See it online at http://www.najit.org/membership/NAJITCodeofEthicsFINAL.pdf.

 

The National Association of Judiciary  Interpreters and Translators canons are:                   

 

For further elements of interpreting visit the International Association of Conference Interpreters. 

 

See “Code of Professional Ethics” at http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm?page_id=54 .

 

See “Professional Standards” at http://www.aiic.net/ViewPage.cfm/article122.htm .

 

RULES

 

Interpreters should be familiar with the Civil and Criminal Codes (Rules of Procedure) that apply to them.  Learn more by visiting the links below.

 

· See “The Court Interpreters Act USC” at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28/usc_sec_28_00001827----000-.html.  

 

· See “Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code; Chapter 21”

Subchapter A: Deaf Interpreters

Subchapter B: Spanish Language Interpreters in certain Border Counties)

Subchapter C: Interpreters For County Courts At Law, Duties, Appointment, Termination Oath

Subchapter D:  Interpreter’s Fee

             See the Case law website at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/txcodes/ci002100.html .

 

· See the “Texas Code of Criminal Procedure” at http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/cr.toc.htm

 

· See “Specific to Interpreters: Chapters 15, 20,28,38,42,104” at  http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/cgi-bin/cqcgi .

 

WHO REGULATES JUDICIAL INTERPRETERS?

 

In Texas, licensed court interpreters are licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).   Visit the TDLR website at

http://www.license.state.tx.us/court/court.htm .

 

See the “Administrative Rules for Texas Court Interpreters” at http://www.license.state.tx.us/court/lcirules.htm#80100 .

 

Federal Court Interpreters are certified by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts Through the Federal Court Interpreter Program.  Visit the website at http://www.uscourts.gov/interpretprog/interp_prog.html .

                              

See the “State Court Interpretation Programs” listed by state at

http://www.ncsconline.org/wc/CourTopics/statelinks.asp?id=16 .

Accuracy and Completeness

Duty to Report Ethical Violations

Professional Development

Assessing & Reporting Impediments to Performance

Impartiality & Avoidance of Conflicts of Interest

Representation of Qualifications

Confidentiality

Professional Demeanor

Scope of Practice

 

 

 

Accuracy & Completeness

Duty to Report Ethical Violations

Representation of Qualifications

Assessing & Reporting Performance Impediments

Impartiality

Restriction of Public Comment

Confidentiality

Professional Demeanor

Scope of Practice

Conflicts of Interest

Remuneration and Gifts

 

Accuracy

Impartiality & Conflicts of Interest

Maintenance and Improvement of Skills and Knowledge

Accurate Representation of Credentials

Impediments to Compliance

Protocol & Demeanor

Confidentiality

Limitation of Practice