Language Access in Louisiana Courts
Developing standards for courtroom interpreters is an essential step in ensuring equal access to the justice system, regardless of limited English proficiency. Louisiana Appleseed volunteers from law firm Phelps Dunbar prepared an analysis of other states’ interpreter standards and drafted a model court rule for the Louisiana Supreme Court’s consideration, as well as a model Code of Professional Responsibility.
Louisiana Appleseed and the Language Access Coalition advocated for adoption of this rule, with the support of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Louisiana Public Defender Board. The Louisiana Supreme Court ordered the adoption of a Code of Professional Responsibility for Language Interpreters, which became effective on September 1, 2012.
Click to view the Louisiana Supreme Court Order
Code of Professional Responsibility for Language Interpreters
Louisiana Appleseed also advocated for the Louisiana Supreme Court joining the National Consortium for Language Access in Courts. In early 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court became a member.
Louisiana Appleseed continues to advocate for state-wide interpreter standards to ensure equal access to the justice system, regardless of limited English proficiency. Louisiana Appleseed has been appointed to the Access to Justice Commission, serving on the Commission’s Language Access Subcommittee. The subcommittee is developing a plan for outreach and advocacy.
Project Partners: Phelps Dunbar, Carver Darden, Fowler Rodriguez, Louisiana Language Access Coalition, Louisiana State Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association