Court foreign language interpreter seminar set for December 14-15 in Jackson

November 30, 2023

The Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts is seeking bilingual speakers willing to train and qualify as credentialed court interpreters.

An Ethics and Skill Building Seminar will be held Dec. 14-15 at the Gartin Justice Building, 450 High Street in Jackson. The seminar registration deadline is Dec. 11.

Candidates to become court interpreters must already be fluent in English and a second
language, and must develop an understanding of legal terms and court proceedings. Participation in the Ethics and Skill Building Seminar is the first step in the Mississippi Court Interpreter Credentialing Program which trains, tests and certifies individuals who wish to serve as court interpreters. The seminar will introduce the candidates to requirements for foreign language interpreting in court settings. The seminar will cover the role of the court foreign language interpreter, ethical requirements, modes of interpretation and credentialing requirements.

The 2023 Mississippi Legislature revised laws requiring language interpreters for people of limited English proficiency in court proceedings to provide broader access to assistance for people who don’t understand English.

The new law, which went into effect July 1, mandates court appointment of a qualified interpreter in criminal cases at no cost to the defendant, with the cost borne by the county or municipality. Changes in the criminal statute are in Miss. Code Ann. Section 99-17-7.

New legislation also requires court interpreters to be paid by the county or municipality in civil cases, so limited English proficient individuals will no longer have to pay for a court interpreter. Revisions to the statutes clarified that LEP individuals are entitled to use an interpreter in any instance arising out of or pertaining to the individual’s involvement in litigation. See Miss. Code Ann. Section 9-21-73 (4).

The registration form for the Ethics and Skill Building Seminar is at this link: Form Orientation December 14-15 2023.pdf.

For more information, contact Deenie Miller, Director of Language Access, at 601-359-4469 or