Bifurcated Review of Interpreter Determinations Under the Court Interpreters Act
David H. Chao
Yale University - Law School
January 12, 2011
Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1, Fall-Winter 2010
Since the passage of the Court Interpreters Act in 1978, defendants have had a statutory right to a language interpreter when the district court determines that the defendant’s language barrier inhibits his comprehension. When defendants have appealed their convictions, claiming that the court erroneously denied them an interpreter, courts of appeals review the lower court determinations for clear error or abuse of discretion. This Article argues that this deferential standard is not proper for reviewing interpreter determinations under the Act, which are mixed questions of law and fact. Instead, appellate courts should review findings of fact for clear error and legal conclusions de novo.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Immigration Law, Language Interpreters
Date posted: January 13, 2011
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