We’ve blogged about court interpreters and legal translators in the context of child custody and visitation in a foreign environment; about foreign language choices in cross-cultural and cross-border mediation. With the world continuing to globalize, the number of “cross-nationality” families continues to climb. In such places as the European Union, it is very common to have a family where the parents are of different nationalities and the child of several. Add to this the regular moving of the international family and trying to decide on issues of jurisdiction can be nearly impossible.
For these reasons, many governments are pushing for an increased role of mediation in the family law setting. Mediation has the advantage of superseding national laws and allowing for international families to come to a mutually agreeable resolution regardless of where they are.
According to a recent EU conference on this topic, one of the roadblocks to creating such a system is the fact that mediation involves people of many different nationalities. Thus, the background and nationality of the mediator could easily be seen as bias. It is therefore essential that all international mediation programs utilize foreign language interpreters and foreign language translations for all proceedings.