Interpretation of Sexual Offences in the Courtroom

Date: 02/03/2006

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Location: Centre for Translation, DLB 701, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University, Renfrew Road, Kowloon Tong

Speaker: Dr Ester Leung

Translation Seminar Series


Since the enactment of the first Hong Kong bilingual ordinance in 1989, tremendous effort and resources have been put to translating English legal documents into Chinese. Long before the implementation of bilingual legislation, the provision of interpreting services has been an entrenched practice in the courtrooms of Hong Kong. However, very little is known about the impact of interpretation on trial proceedings. This study focuses on the interpretation of sexual offence cases tried before the High Courts of Hong Kong. Analysis of the data is carried out mainly through a parallel corpus of the interpreted proceedings, which is constructed mainly for this project. Findings help to i) examine problems and strategies adopted by interpreters when interpreting sexual offence cases in the High Court; ii) explore the interdiscursive relationships between courtroom practices and the use of English and Cantonese in the legal context.

About the Speaker:

Dr Ester Leung has extensive experience interpreting in different legal settings in England before she came back to teach in Hong Kong in 1997. She has translated the entire Bankruptcy Law of the Ch’ing Dynasty Penal Code; the Bankruptcy Law of PRC (Draft) and has published in Babel, the Translation Quarterly and also book chapters for the publishers Palgrave Macmillan and Sweet and Maxwell (Asia). She has received funding from the CERG to conduct a research project entitled “From legislation to translation, from translation to interpretation: the narrative of sexual offences.”

Interpretation of Sexual Offences in the Courtroom
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