Interpretation, translation and intercultural communication in refugee status determination procedures in the UK and France

Robert Gibb, Anthony Good

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Article 1A(2) of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines a ‘refugee’ as someone who has a ‘well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’. The administrative and legal procedures adopted by signatories to the convention for determining whether an individual satisfies this definition characteristically involve complex processes of cultural and linguistic translation and interpretation. In the following article, we explore the interplay between language and intercultural communication within refugee status determination procedures in the UK and France, comparing the ways in which linguistic and intercultural issues are addressed, in theory and in practice, in the two countries. We will be concerned, in particular, to examine the role played by interpreters in facilitating intercultural communication between, on the one hand, asylum applicants and, on the other, the different administrative and legal actors (e.g. civil servants, rapporteurs, lawyers and judges) responsible for assessing or defending their claims.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguages in Migratory Settings
Subtitle of host publicationPlace, Politics, and Aesthetics
EditorsAlison Phipps, Rebecca Kay
Place of PublicationAbingdon & New York
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Pages113-128
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781315692197
ISBN (Print)9781138084698, 9781138911970
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2015

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