SUPREME COURT APPROVES RULES FOR THE COURT INTERPRETER PROGRAM
New rules recently approved by the Supreme Court for the Delaware Court Interpreter Program should assist the program’s operations. The rules, which were adopted September 4, 2007 in Administrative Directive 163, formalize the establishment of the program’s advisory board and define disciplinary procedures to ensure that court interpreters meet high standards of integrity and competence. Under the new rules, the advisory board, which is appointed by the Supreme Court and is currently chaired by Family Court Judge Aida Waserstein, is given broad oversight of the program, including the authority to develop and administer a certification program, to develop fiscal policies and procedures, and to exercise jurisdiction over disciplinary matters with regard to court interpreters.
The adoption of the rules reflects the need to address a large and growing demand for court interpreter services in a variety of languages. This growth is shown by the fact that the program provides interpreters for approximately 215 court cases per week, and during the past fiscal year, over 1500 hours more of interpreter services were provided through the program than during the previous year. The predominant language for which interpreters are required continues to be Spanish, but interpreters are also being frequently used for Russian, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, and some rare African languages.
A new position of program coordinator has been created within the Administrative Office of the Courts to assist in managing this burgeoning program. Maria Perez-Chambers, who was hired as the program’s first coordinator in February 2007, has been focusing on policy development, the recruitment and training of interpreters, as well as developing cooperative relationships with Delaware’s neighboring states in order to create a larger pool of qualified interpreters.
|Marta Goldstein and Maria Perez-Chambers in front of interpreter candidates at a training session.|