AS THE PRIME MINISTER PUT IT TO ME … HE SAW HIS ROLE AS BEING THAT OF MOSES*
Remember your role. You are not Moses. Judge Peeples of the Franklin County Municipal Court offers words of wisdom for us interpreters and translators: Leave your biases at home. A bias is a particular tendency or inclination, especially one which prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question. If you have private thoughts about private vs. public counsel, keep such notions to yourself. It’s not our place to compare lawyer’s performance, be she private or public counsel. Let alone share your opinions with the person for whom you interpret.
COMPLY WITH THE CODE OF ETHICS, PLEASE
According to the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibilities, Canon 4 reads: Canon 4. Limitations of Practice Court interpreters and translators shall limit their participation to those matters in which they serve to interpreting and translating, and shall not give advice to the parties or otherwise engage in activities that can be construed as the practice of law.
Simply put, stay in your role as interpreter and focus on interpreting. I don’t want to become knows as the courthouse gossip who blathers on mindlessly about Joe Pettifogger. Why risk losing your integrity and certification? Our place is not to judge others.
Good words to you.
*Peter Jay (1937- ) British economist and broadcaster. Referring to a conversation with James Callaghan. Guardian Weekly, 19 Sept. 1977.