Examining aspects of spoken language interpreting
in mediation
and civil justice
in the European
area of justice

Co funded by

the European Union




is a two-year (01/04/2014 – 31/03/2016) multi-partner project, examining aspects of spoken language interpreting in mediation and civil justice in the European area of justice. Understanding Justice is part-funded by the DG Justice of the European Commission.


The project draws together a multi-disciplinary group from six member states, (Belgium, Holland, Italy, Romania, Spain, UK) to carry out the following actions:


i) Undertake an evaluation of the EU acquis and other EU legislation directly or indirectly impacting on to the provision of interpreting and translation in civil justice proceedings


ii) Investigate how the corpus of work completed in successive EU part- funded projects on interpreting and translation in criminal justice can be adapted for civil justice


iii) Develop methodologies and online materials for practicing legal interpreters and translators to self-assess their competencies against the requirements of interpreting in civil justice


iv) Research the practice and impact of interpreting in mediation and alternative dispute resolution, including the use of bilingual mediators


The Understanding Justice project team is:


Chema Bazán

Chema Bazán is the director of Lucentum Digital Productions, a technological partner specializing in multimedia framework and content creation. He is also a certified translator and interpreter.


Dr hab. Łucja Biel

Associate Professor and Deputy Head of International Cooperation and Organisation at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw; Secretary General of the European Society of Translation Studies, Deputy Editor of the Journal of Specialised Translation, sworn translator of English and Polish. Research areas: legal translation and interpreting, corpus linguistics, legal terminology


Dr Sabine Braun

Sabine is Director of the Centre for Translation Studies at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on new modalities of interpreting and translation, especially videoconference-based and remote interpreting, and the use of communication technologies in interpreter education.


Ann Corsellis OBE FCIL (internal evaluator)

Ann Corsellis is a Vice- President of the Chartered Institute of Linguists UK and a retired magistrate.


Teodora Ghiviriga PhD

Teodora Ghiviriga is an Assistant Professor in English Language (Translation and Terminology), "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi, Romania, with research interests in economic and legal terminology and translation, academic writing and contrastive rhetoric.


Cynthia Giambruno

Cynthia Giambruno is a professor of Translating and Interpreting at the Universidad de Alicante (Spain). Her research interests include legal interpreting, interpreter training and public policy as it relates to linguistic diversity and language use.


John Hammond MA LLB FCIL MCIArb

John Hammond read both modern languages and law at university before commencing work as a Solicitor  in the City of London. During his 10 years as an “in-house” lawyer with a U.S.-based multi-national corporation, he was also Chairman of Council of the Institute of Linguists, before serving as its Chief Executive from 2005 to 2010. A member of both the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, he advises the project team on matters of legal process and ADR institutions.


Erik Hertog

Erik Hertog is emeritus professor of Cultural Studies and both Conference and Public Services Interpreting Studies in the Faculty of Arts, KU Leuven (formerly Lessius University College) in Antwerp, Belgium. He is trainer and assessor of interpreters working in the social services (for the Flemish Community Government) and of intercultural mediators working in the general Belgian hospitals (for the Belgian Ministry of Public Health). He is also Director of the Board of Ba-bel, the Central Flemish Community Interpreting Telephone Service. In the field of legal interpreting, he has coordinated research, training and many policy projects for i.a. the Antwerp courts and police force, the Belgian Federal Government, the Ministry of Justice of The Netherlands and the European Commission. He was e.g. the coordinator of the project establishing EULITA, the EU Association of Legal Interpreters and Translators. He recently participated in the Avidicus project on videolink interpreting in criminal proceedings, the Qualitas project (on assessment and testing of legal interpreting), the Qualetra project (idem on legal translation) and the SOS-VICS project on the support of victims in interpreted proceedings. Currently he is involved in a follow-up Avidicus project, in the TraiLLD project on training and assessment in languages of lesser diffusion and the Understanding Justice project on interpreted mediation sessions. He was also the rapporteur of the Reflection Forum on Multilingualism and Interpreter Training for the former EU Commissioner for Multilingualism and is the author of many publications in the field of conference, legal and community interpreting.


Dr Anna Jopek-Bosiacka

Legal translation researcher, legal translator trainer, legal advisor and sworn translator/interpreter of English and Polish. She is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics. She holds an MA degree in Applied Linguistics (Russian and English) from University of Warsaw, MA degree in Law from University of Warsaw, and Ph.D. degree in English Studies from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland).

Her research interests include translation studies, legal translation, intercultural communication, discourse analysis, pragmatics and text linguistics.


Hilary Maxwell-Hyslop MA, Hon FCIL

Hilary Maxwell-Hyslop is a freelance education and assessment consultant. Until 2013 she was Director of Examinations for the IoL Educational Trust, the associated charity of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, which runs qualifications in public service interpreting and translation. Her research interests include the role of self-assessment in the professional development of both institutions and individuals.


Claudia Monacelli PhD

Claudia Monacelli PhD is Associate Professor at UNINT University in Rome where she coordinates the M.A. Interpreting track program. She was Director of the Faculty of Interpreting and Translation Doctoral Program (2008-2011) and currently coordinates the LARIM research group (UNINT University). She teaches interpreting courses, audiovisual translation and English language teaching methodology. Her area of research concerns applied linguistics, Interpreting Studies, sociolinguistics and pragmatics.


Annalisa Sandrelli

Annalisa Sandrelli is Lecturer in English Interpreting at UNINT University where she teaches Consecutive Interpreting, Respeaking and Audiovisual Translation. She is a member of the LARIM research group and of the Eurolect Observatory (both at UNINT). She also coordinates the DubTalk research project (UNINT- University of Pisa). Her research interests include dialogue interpreting, corpus-based studies in translation and interpreting, audiovisual translation and computer assisted interpreter training (CAIT).


Brooke Townsley MA FCIL (project coordinator)

Brooke Townsley is Senior Lecturer in Interpreting and Translation at Middlesex University, London, where he teaches legal and medical interpreting and translation. He has coordinated the Building Mutual Trust I and II projects and contributed to the Qualitas project. His research interests include the application of digital technologies to interpreting assessment, community translation and interpreting in early years education.


Yolanda Vanden Bosch

Yolanda Vanden Bosch is partner-director in the law firm Van der Mussele – Vanden Bosch, a member of the Antwerp Bar, Secretary-General of the Association of Flemish Jurists, Lector at the KU Leuven - campus Antwerpen and at the Karel de Grote - Hogeschool Antwerpen. In a special program, she trains legal interpreters and translators for the Antwerp Court at the KU Leuven - campus Antwerpen. She has worked on several EU-projects on legal interpreting and translating.


Evert van der Vlis

Evert van der Vlis studied Law and Public Management. From 1975 to 1991 he worked for the Legal Aid Centre in Rotterdam and the National Board for Legal Aid Centers in The Hague. In 1992 he joined the Ministry of Security and Justice in the Netherlands. Currently he is policy adviser on the Access to Justice Unit. The Access to Justice Unit is responsible for policy making in the field of legal aid and the legal professions (advocates, notaries, bailiffs, mediators and legal interpreters and translators). He has been involved in several European projects on the right to translation and interpreting in criminal proceedings.

SYMPOSIUM 10-03-2016

The Understanding Justice Project held its final ‘Mediation and Interpreting’ symposium on Thursday 10th March, at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London. The well-attended event attracted practicing mediators, professional interpreters, academics as well as non-specialists with an interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution.


The theme of the symposium was the role of interpreting in mediations where language difference is an obstacle. The meeting opened with an address from Anthony Abrahams, Director General of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, followed by presentations from Marian Roberts, (practicing mediator and widely published author on mediation) on the processes of mediation; Leonardo D’Urso (the ADR Centre, Rome) on Mediation in the EU; Sandra Fenn on the work of Reunite, a UK based charity specialising in international parental child abduction) and Mary Carroll, on the experience of MiKK, (a Berlin-based non-profit organisation providing support, advice and referrals in cases of cross-border child abduction), of managing language difference in mediations. The symposium closed with a lively panel discussion between delegates and presenters.


The ‘Mediation and Interpreting’ symposium was the final activity of the Understanding Justice Project.


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