Celebrating Unsung Heroes of Justice: The Role of Interpreters

By October 17, 2023 No Comments
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Celebrating Unsung Heroes of Justice: The Role of Interpreters

Yesterday, I assisted a client in summary proceedings at The Hague District Court. It was a journey filled with last-minute preparations and complications.

As a litigator, I thrive on complexity—the more challenging, the better!

But court hearings are about more than just presenting facts and interpreting the law; they’re about understanding and guiding our clients through their legal challenges. It’s about their worries, expectations, frustrations, and the path forward.

As an attorney, my role extends beyond legal readiness; I must also be a dependable guide for my client throughout the hearing.

In this case, we needed an interpreter. Finding the right one was no easy task, especially during the autumn holidays. My client’s apprehension was evident, as court proceedings can be overwhelming, especially for those unaccustomed to them – a sentiment I fully appreciate.

A skilled interpreter goes beyond mere translation; they radiate calmness and friendliness, bridging language and cultural gaps. They ensure that the client can follow the process and participate when necessary. Our interpreter was exceptional, supporting my client and allowing me to focus fully on the legal aspects of the case, the judge, and the opposing party, knowing that my client was in capable hands.

As we await the judgment, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Justine Stoop, our interpreter. Her invaluable support significantly eased my client’s concerns and played a pivotal role in yesterday’s hearing.

Let’s never underestimate the indispensable role of interpreters in our legal system. They not only grant everyone a voice and a just opportunity but also empower litigators to concentrate fully on the hearing, secure in the knowledge that their client is in excellent hands.