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Act on the Register of Legal Interpreters

Päivitetty 4.9.2020

 

Translation from Finnish

Legally binding only in Finnish and Swedish

Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

 

Act on the Register of Legal Interpreters

(1590/2015; amendments up to 544/2017 included)

 

By decision of Parliament, the following is enacted:

Section 1

Register of Legal Interpreters

The Finnish National Agency for Education shall maintain a register of legal interpreters for the purpose of enhancing the availability of interpreters with adequate knowledge of legal content.

Section 2

Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters

Decisions on adding interpreters to the Register of Legal Interpreters and on removing registered persons shall be made by the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters, which is subordinate to the Finnish National Agency for Education and is appointed by it for a maximum term of five years at a time.

The Board shall monitor the practice of interpreters entered in the Register.

The remuneration of Board members shall be determined by the Finnish National Agency for Education, which is in charge of administrative matters related to the Board.

Further provisions on the duties of the Board may be issued by government decree.

Section 3

Composition of the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters

A chair, a vice-chair and a minimum of four other members with personal deputies shall be appointed to the Board. The provisions of this Act concerning Board members also apply to their deputies.

No less than one of the Board members must be a representative of practising interpreters and no less than one member must represent users of legal interpreting services. No less than one Board member must have a master’s degree or higher qualification in law other than the Master in International and Comparative Law. Furthermore, no less than one member must possess expertise in teaching interpreting and translation at higher education level, and at least one must have expertise in teaching interpreting and translation at some other level.

To replace a member who has resigned, a new member shall be appointed to the Board for its the remaining term.

Section 4

Decision-making within the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters

The Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters shall have a quorum when either the chair or the vice-chair and a minimum of two other members are present.

Further provisions on decision-making and working procedures within the Board may be issued by government decree.

Section 5

Criteria for entry in the Register

Upon application, the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters shall enter in the Register an interpreter

1) who is of age and whose legal competency has not been restricted;

2) who has completed

a) a specialist vocational qualification in legal interpreting in accordance with the degree system laid down in the Vocational Education and Training Act (531/2017) or a similar earlier qualification; or

b) an academic degree appropriate for the work of an interpreter plus legal interpreting studies worth at least 35 credits or of a similar scope; and

3) who has given a written affirmation to the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters and has not, in the three years preceding the application, been removed from the Register under section 7, subsection 1, paragraph 3 or 4 of this Act.

(544/2017)

If the qualification, degree or studies referred to in subsection 1, paragraph 2, were completed more than five years before the application for entry in the Register becomes pending, entry in the Register is conditional upon the applicants demonstrating that they have maintained the currency of their legal interpreting skills.

More detailed provisions on how maintenance of legal interpreting skills can be demonstrated shall be issued by government decree. More detailed provisions on the relevant academic degree and legal interpreting studies referred to in subsection 1, paragraph 2, subparagraph b of this Act, and on the contents of the affirmation referred to in subsection 1, paragraph 3 of this Act may be issued by government decree.

Section 6

Validity of entries in the Register

An interpreter who fulfils the criteria set out in section 5 above shall be entered in the Register of Legal Interpreters for a term of five years at a time. The Board for the Register shall issue each interpreter with a certificate upon successful entry in the Register. More detailed provisions on the content of such a certificate may be issued by government decree.

Following the term referred to in subsection 1, the interpreter’s entry in the Register is renewable upon application, provided that the criteria laid down in section 5, subsection 1, continue to be fulfilled and the interpreter demonstrates maintenance of his or her legal interpreting skills during the five-year term preceding the application. The application for renewal may be submitted at the earliest six months prior to expiry of the term referred to in subsection 1.

Section 7

Removal from the Register

The Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters shall remove from the Register an interpreter who

1) requests it in writing;

2) does not fulfil the criteria set out in section 5, subsection 1;

3) by judgement of a court of law, has been found guilty of an offence committed while practising as an interpreter; or

4) has by any other action or incident, when practising as an interpreter, proved to be manifestly unsuited to legal interpreting practice.

However, an interpreter shall not be removed from the Register if more than three years have elapsed since the date of the judgement referred to in subsection 1, paragraph 3 above, or since the action or incident referred to in subsection 1, paragraph 4 above.

If the conditions of subsection 1, paragraph 3 above are fulfilled, the matter shall be submitted for decision to the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters by a court’s notification as described in section 11 below. If the conditions of subsection 1, paragraph 4 above are fulfilled, the matter shall be submitted for decision to the Board by a written complaint related to the interpreter or a notification by a public authority.

Section 8

Data to be entered in the Register

The data in the Register of Legal Interpreters shall include the interpreter’s name, personal identity code and address, as well as details on the following criteria upon which entry in the Register is conditional: the qualification, degree or studies referred to in section 5, subsection 1, paragraph 2 of this Act, and maintenance of the applicant’s legal interpreting skills. In addition to the postal address, the data that may be entered in the Register upon request include the email address, telephone number and other contact details of the interpreter.

Registered interpreters must notify the Board without delay of any changes in their registered data.

Registered data shall be removed without undue delay when the validity of the entry expires; when the interpreter concerned has been removed from the Register; or when the Board learns of the decease of a registered person. A record of the removal of an interpreter from the Register under section 7, subsection 1, paragraph 3 or 4 of this Act must be kept for three years after the removal.

Section 9

Processing of data contained in the Register

Provisions on how data entered in the Register of Legal Interpreters shall be accessed and processed are found in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999) and in the Personal Data Act (523/1999).

In addition to what is provided in section 16, subsection 3 of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, records of a registered interpreter’s name and the languages in which they have completed the qualification, degree or studies referred to in section 5, subsection 1, paragraph 2 of this Act may be disclosed from the Register of Legal Interpreters over a public data network. Registered interpreters may also request disclosure of their other personal data, such as their area of operation, email address, telephone number and other contact details, over a public data network. A registered interpreter has the right to deny any disclosure of his or her personal data from the Register.

The personal data referred to in subsection 2 above may be disclosed over a public data network as a listing returned by a single search query for a specific area of operation, language of interpreting, or interpreter’s name.

Section 10

Fees

The Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters shall charge applicants a fee for processing the applications referred to in section 5, subsection 1, and section 6, subsection 2 of this Act. Provisions on the fee are laid down in the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State (150/1992) and in legislation passed under it.

Section 11

Court’s duty to notify

Courts of justice shall notify the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters of a court decision by which a registered interpreter is found guilty of an offence committed while practising as an interpreter.

Section 12

Appeal

Appeals against a decision of the Board for the Register of Legal Interpreters concerning entry or renewal of entry in the Register, or removal from it, may be submitted to an administrative court as provided in the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act (586/1996). The decision of an administrative court is only subject to appeal if the Supreme Administrative Court grants leave to appeal.

13 §

Entry into force

This Act enters into force on 1 April 2016.

HE 39/2015, SiVM 7/2015, EV 59/2015, Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (32010L0064); OJ L 280, 26.10.2010, p. 1.


24.10.2020 klo 03:23:40