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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Breaking Down Language Barriers in Victim Access to Justice

August 10, 2012

An Oregon attorney representing a non-English speaking victim sought help in ensuring her client’s rights were afforded.  The attorney requested assistance securing a court appointed interpreter for the victim throughout the entirety of the proceedings–not limited to when the victim will be testifying or otherwise providing information to the court.  NCVLI conducted legal research and provided the attorney with a legal memorandum concluding that a victim’s constitutional rights to justice and meaningful presence require the court to appoint an interpreter to assist the victim in understanding the proceedings.  Language should not impede victims from exercising their legal rights! 


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