On 20 December 2016, the Federation Council considered a project proposed by the Union of Translators of Russia on the establishment in Russia of an institute of court (sworn) translators and interpreters.
On 20 December 2016, the Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building held parliamentary hearings on the topic “15th Anniversary of Adoption of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation: a Strategy for Improving the Criminal Justice System.”
The matters discussed included the project of establishment in Russia of an institute of court (sworn) translators and interpreters developed by an activist group from the Union of Translators of Russia, including the Chairman of the Management Board of the Union of Translators of Russia Vadim V. Sdobnikov, Doctor of Sciences (Philology); Assistant Professor Lyudmila B.Obidina, Candidate of Sciences (Legal); and Director of ALBA Translating Company Alexander A. Larin,Candidate of Sciences (Legal) .
The topic sparked great interest in the participants of the event, and upon completion of the parliamentary hearings, the project was included in a list of recommendations.
For the first time, the project was represented to the translator community in July 2015 at the VIII Summer School of Translation of the Union of Translators of Russia in Alushta. In December 2015, the project was discussed at the Scientific Advisory Board of the Legislative Assembly of the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast and in March 2016, at the round table organized by the Main Administration of the Ministry of Justice for the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. In May 2016, the project was approved by the IX Convention of the Union of Translators of Russia and referred to the Department for Legislation Development of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. During the period of working on the project, several scientific publications were prepared.
The current legislation has no detailed body of law regulating this sphere. The duty to verify the competence of a translator or interpreter is only provided within the framework of pre-trial criminal proceedings. However, the legislator does not specify what criteria may indicate that the interpreter or translator possesses the required qualifications. Finding a professional poses a significant challenge. This issue is particularly pressing in the case of rare languages or languages that are not regularly needed in a particular region of Russia.
A solution to the problem proposed within the framework of the project of the Union of Translators of Russia is to create a unified database containing information about individuals who have successfully passed the qualification exam and thus confirmed their translation and interpreting skills. The database will include information allowing to make a quick assessment of the specialist’s qualification. In addition to the procedure for engaging an interpreter or translator, the project describes the grounds for suspending and terminating activities of court interpreters and translators and details their rights and obligations, including those needed for proper performance of their duties.