ISO 20228:2019 

  • Interpreting services.
  • Legal interpreting.
  • Requirements
  • Introduction (source:
This document was developed in response to a worldwide and growing need to accommodate the interpreting needs of persons deprived of liberty, suspects, accused, defendants, plaintiffs, claimants, complainants, witnesses, victims, parties in different legal settings during spoken and signed communication as well as judicial stakeholders such as judges, lawyers, prosecutors, police officers, court administrative staff, notaries as well as private persons requiring interpreting services during communicative events related to the law.
The right to legal interpreting services has been enshrined in several international documents (see Annex A). Legal interpreting needs to be of a sufficiently high quality to ensure equal access to justice to all persons as well as fair trials. Legal interpreting has become established as interpreting services provided by professional interpreters. There are various codes and standards (protocols) for specific settings (e.g. for the police or in court) but they vary from country to country, and there are no universally agreed rules or standards for the provision of legal interpreting services.
NOTE For the purposes of this document, a professional legal interpreter is an individual that meets the requirements of Clause 5. Legal interpreting is distinct from legal translation and involves the communication of spoken or signed messages in real time. Standards of legal interpreting training and practice vary widely, and are subject to change with remarkable fluidity. In practice, current trends in several countries go in the direction of professionalism due to shortage of financial means, absence of specialized training and lack of awareness of the risks of using non-professional legal interpreters.