Canadian Legal System Suffers Due To a Lack of Professional Translation Services

July 20th, 2012
Canadian Legal System Suffers Due To a Lack of Professional Translation Services

This issue is most prevalent in the province of Quebec where the majority of the citizens speak French but the rest of the nation predominantly speaks English. While some criminal cases are translated from their original French, Quebec courts decide many cases that have nationwide ramifications, yet are not obligated to provide a translated copy of the decisions. This means that most French judgments are rarely translated into English. As such, the majority of these decisions are not referenced in other legal cases as they should be.


Because of the fact that I have studied law and the legal process, this strikes me as an especially egregious failure on the part of the Canadian legal system. When one court has jurisdiction to decide a case that will affect multiple provinces or the nation as a whole, that court should have the responsibility of providing their ruling in both languages so that legal cases throughout the nation that may be affected by it can effectively reference and utilize the official documents. Unfortunately, that is not currently the situation. At this point in time, the only way a legal decision gets translated is when people take it upon themselves to do so. Even then, the translated text is considered an unofficial version, not generally acceptable for use in other court cases.


So how can the Canadian legal system remedy this injustice? By regularly employing the services of a professional translation service to produce official translations. A professional translating service is qualified and capable of producing accurate and professional translations worth of official designation. By utilizing this service, the Canadian justice system will have access to the full range of legal arguments and decisions from every jurisdiction in the nation. 


If official translated versions of legal outcomes were readily available, then every lawyer, judge, and party to a legal proceeding would have access to the most accurate and widest range of resources available to support their cases. This single action could potentially help to streamline the Canadian justice system, making it more efficient and effective for all involved.

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