The School of Continuing Studies has organized a panel of experts to reflect on the role of linguistic diversity in the administration of justice and the protection and advocacy of individual rights.
Language can be a barrier to the justice system for people living in plurilingual states. This roundtable will explore the relationship between language, language policy, language standards, translation and access to justice in an increasingly linguistically diverse world. It will tackle this relationship from both an intralingual and an interlingual perspective.
In terms of intralingual translation, where and under which conditions should complex legal language be converted into plain language to help people understand and exercise their rights? How does the existence of language varieties (e.g., different dialects of the Cree language) and standards affect access to justice?
The focus of the discussion will then move to interlingual translation. Providing legal information to people in their language of choice is key not only to ensuring full access to the justice system, but also to making case law more broadly available to legal professionals in other jurisdictions. In particular, English translations by the Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ) of judgments rendered in French by Quebec courts will be discussed, as will their impact on public legal literacy and the development of jurisprudence across the country.
- Rute Costa, Associate Professor and Head of the Linguistics Centre, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
- Sebastian Drude, Director, Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding
- Donald Nicholls, Director of Justice and Correctional Services, Cree Nation Government
- Vera Roy, Legal Translator, Société québécoise d’information juridique
- Respondent: James Archibald, Senior Faculty Lecturer, Translation Studies, McGill University
For more information, email translation.scs [at] mcgill.ca. Registration is on EventBrite.