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Court interpreting is an extremely demanding line of work. Nonetheless, the Greek state has set the bar low in terms of qualifications, and the rates paid to court interpreters are similarly low, resulting in the quality of court interpretation being far from satisfactory. In Greece, court interpreters are not required to have any training, which is a prerequisite in other countries. Their working conditions are unacceptable. Mostly interpreters are not given the opportunity to study the court brief, which makes their work even more difficult. SYDISE believes that, following the example of countries such as Switzerland, Germany and the US, only trained interpreters having passed relevant exams should be included in the registry of court interpreters.

SYDISE steadfastly promotes life-long learning and continuous professional development. Since 2020, it has been organizing courses and seminars on court/legal interpreting for its members, who are highly qualified conference interpreters, university graduates and holders of post-graduate degrees, with many years of experience and / or accredited to work in various international organizations and agencies.

We firmly believe that court (or legal) interpreting in Greece is in need of a radical reform. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Inspiration can be drawn from the models adopted in other countries in order to organize anew this sector. This has become an even more pressing need following the refugee crisis and the arrival of a large numbers of foreign nationals in in Greece. Correct interpretation is the only way to ensure a fair trial to everyone irrespective of their native language or origin. The highly qualified members of SYDISE are ready to contribute to the reform of this vital sector with their in-depth knowledge and experience.

With this in mind, SYDISE is particularly pleased to announce its forthcoming event on “Interpreting in Court and other Legal Settings”, which will take place on 7 December 2021 at 18.00 pm, at the Goethe Institut, 14-16, Omirou street, Athens. The event features a plethora of distinguished panelists from academia, lawyers, judges, notaries and mediators. The aim being to launch a serious dialogue that will pave the way for a thorough reform with a view to improving interpretation in court settings and set the foundations for fairer trials for all in Greece. 

Free entrance to SYDISE members and invited guests.


Title: Cooperation between interpreters and all professionals in a courtroom is instrumental to achieving a better procedural outcome.

Session 1            

Moderator: Katerina Apostolaki, Conference Interpreter, Member of SYDISE

  1. Presentation of the Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters (by the President of SYDISE) 10 ‘
  2. Welcome by the President of the European Legal Translators and Interpreters Association (EULITA), Ms Daniela Amodeo Perillo (remotely)
  3. Address by the Ministry of Justice (to be confirmed)
  4. Address by Prof. Dr. Sotirios Livas, President of the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting – Ionian University
  5. A successful example of court interpreting: the European Court of Justice. Lila Koukosi, Conference Interpreter, Greek Booth, European Court of Justice; Eleni Papadopoulou-Thiessen, Lawyer-Linguist, Greek translation department, European Court of Justice (remotely)
  6. Short address by the Athens Bar Association (represented by Dr. Panagiotis Nicolopoulos, Head of the Legal Section of the Athens Bar Association, Assistant Professor at the School of Law, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
  7. Interpreters: a valuable ally in the preparation and the hearings of UK Court Cases and UK based Arbitrations – Alex Clements, Director at Bond Solon (remotely)

Session 2

Moderator: Dr. Anthi Wiedenmayer, Associate Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

  1. Acquaintance with Public Service Interpreter SV 2810 (legal section). A piece of Science Fiction (Prof. Dr. Stefanos Vlachopoulos of the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting – Ionian University)
  2. Court interpreting – the judge’s point of view (Vasilis Portokalis, LLM, Judge at the Court of Appeal of the Aegean Islands)
  3. Interpretation at notarial offices (by Eleni Kontogeorgou, Vice President of the Notary Association of the Courts of Appeal of Athens, Piraeus, Aegean and the Dodecanese))
  4. Interpretation in mediation proceedings (by Aikaterini Kotsaki, President of the Hellenic Union of Mediators)

Closing address: Conclusions (Maria Petrocheilou, President of SYDISE)

A reception at the foyer of the Goethe Institut will follow immediately after the panel discussions. The recently renovated Goethe Institut, in the heart of Athens, is a venue known for its successful cultural events and once again open for in person meetings.

The event will be live-streamed. The agenda includes remote speakers. Simultaneous interpretation Greek <> English will be available.

Download the Programme of the Event in PDF format

Member of:

ELIA 2021 Partner

ELIA 2021 Partner
HAPCO - Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers


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