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Seminars & Symposiums

Open Symposium: Court Interpreters talk about Lay-Judge Trial Experiences

2012-3-20 (Tue) 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

In May this year it will be 3 years since reform of the legal system and the implementation of the lay-judge system in Japan, a pillar of this reform, was implemented. Society has shown a high degree of interest in the reforms and their implementation, a system that has replaced the former system involving 3 parties: prosecutor(s), defending lawyer(s), and judge(s). This symposium will take a look at how things have been going since May 2009.

Trials have taken place throughout Japan in which the defendant, a foreigner, was not conversant enough in Japanese, thus requiring a court interpreter. Court cases requiring a translator occur with a frequency of a few percent. Two and a half years have passed since the first foreign defendant case took place in Saitama; however, the voice of the court interpreter has almost never been heard outside of the courtroom. Taking a look at location and on-the-job experience regarding the lay-judge system, this lack seems to be because a place to talk about such or the desire to inquire into the role of the interpreter was missing. Indeed, at the press conference at the end of a trial, the objective seems to be clarifying opinions and proposals from the persons who served as lay-judges, via networks of supporters.

This symposium is a part of the "Basic Research in the Environment for Court Interpreters under the Lay-Judge System" Project ("2011~12 Budding Challenging Research") of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research of JSPS. 

As panelists, this symposium will have persons who have actually worked in various locations as court interpreters. Taking a look at the lay-judge system from the viewpoint of the court translator, this symposium is for common citizens, persons working in translation and interpretation, and "users" of the court interpreters, the professional judges.

We hope that this symposium will bring about a reexamination of the current system and the role of court interpreters.

Date: 2012-3-20 (Tue) 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Organizer: Global Collaboration Center (GLOCOL), Osaka University
Venue: Seminar Room, 7th Floor, Nakanoshima Center, Osaka University
Registration: Not necessary.
Contact: Global Collaboration Center

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