Section 15(2) of the Official Languages Act requires that the Court make simultaneous interpretation services available upon the request of any party to the proceedings. This requirement is specifically referred to in Rules 31, 93 and 283 of the Federal Courts Rules.
It should be noted that in matters where Her Majesty the Queen or a federal institution is a party in the proceedings, section 18 of the Official Languages Act states that Her Majesty the Queen or the institution concerned shall use the official language chosen by the parties unless reasonable notice has not been given.
There are two types of interpretation services: simultaneous and consecutive.
An interpretation is simultaneous when the interpreter is translating at the same time as the individual is talking. Technical equipment is necessary (i.e. a booth and head phones).
An interpretation is consecutive when the interpreter is translating after the person speaks (i.e. usually at oral examinations or conference calls) where the interpreter stands next to the witness and interprets one-on-one. There is no need for special equipment.
A request by a party under the Official Languages Act for interpretation services shall be made in writing and be sent to the Chief Administrator as soon as is practicable before the hearing begins and contain the following information:
(1) the type of hearing or event
(2) the date, time, place and duration
(3) the language requested (i.e. French to English, English to French, or both)
(4) the name and number of a contact person
Courts Administration Service will be charged for late cancellation fees if interpretation services are cancelled within less than seven (7) working days of the scheduled event. Therefore, the Registry should be advised immediately of a cancellation or adjournment.