Google Translate no substitute for court interpreters

Posted on: September 14th, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

All participants in the justice system need to be aware of the interpretation needs of parties who come before the courts, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

The U.K.’s Law Gazette reports on the confusion over who bears responsibility for interpretation services during a hearing involving a Mandarin-speaking woman in the north of England accused of various food hygiene breaches at her restaurant.

The Gazette says a barrister uninvolved with the case stepped in when the defendant was left without an interpreter, downloading the Google Translate app in an effort to allow her to communicate with the court.

“It’s kind of unbelievable that something like this could happen. The case really shouldn’t have gone ahead at all,” Deliscar tells

“It’s very important that we safeguard access to justice and fairness, and part of that comes from ensuring all parties have the ability to communicate their thoughts and understand what’s going on,” adds Deliscar, who runs Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish.

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