1 Nov 2011

Supreme Court recommends new rules on translation

2:52 pm on 1 November 2011

The Supreme Court has recommended there be a gap between evidence being given, and its translation, at trials where interpreters are used.

The recommendation follows an appeal by Chala Abdula, who was jailed for seven years for rape, claiming poor interpretation jeopardised his right to a fair trial.

He was assisted at trial by an interpreter who translated between English and an Ethiopian language.

However Abdula's lawyer said the interpreter wasn't sufficiently highly qualified and at times he spoke simultaneously with trial witnesses, which may have affected his ability to fully translate what was said.

The Supreme Court recognised that at times the trial did not follow best practice.

It has, however, dismissed Abdula's appeal as no objection was raised during the trial.