Common Law in an Uncommon Courtroom

Judicial interpreting in Hong Kong

| The University of Hong Kong
ISBN 9789027201911 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027263162 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
This book takes you into a common-law courtroom which is in no way similar to any other courtroom where common law is practised. This uniqueness is characterised, in particular, by the use of English as the trial language in a predominantly Cantonese-speaking society and by the presence of other bilinguals in court, thus presenting specific challenges for the interpreters who work in it, and at times rendering the interpretation service superfluous. This study, inter alia, problematises judges’ intervention in the court proceedings, Chinese witnesses testifying in English, as well as English-language trials heard by Chinese jurors. It demonstrates how the use of chuchotage proves to be inadequate and inappropriate in the Hong Kong courtroom, where interpreting in an English-language trial is arguably provided to cater for the need of the linguistic majority. This book is useful to interpreters, language educators, legal professionals, forensic linguists and policy makers alike.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 144]  2018.  xxvi, 226 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
List of tables
List of figures
Transcription symbols and abbreviations used in this book
Abbreviations used in the transcripts and in this book
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The practice of court interpreting in Hong Kong
Chapter 3. Modes of interpretation and audience roles in interpreted trial discourse
Chapter 4. The interpreter as one of the bilinguals in court
Chapter 5. Interpreter intervention in witness examination
Chapter 6. Judges’ intervention in witness examination
Chapter 7. Chinese witnesses testifying in English
Chapter 8. English trials heard by Chinese jurors
Chapter 9. Who is speaking?: Court interpreters’ use of first-person versus third-person interpreting
Chapter 10. Conclusions
Appendix 1. Timeline of the use of Chinese in courts
Appendix 2. Percentage of criminal cases conducted in Chinese in various courts
Appendix 3. Scale points for Court Interpreter and Simultaneous Interpreter under the Master Pay Scale for Civil Servants
Appendix 4. Transcript of the exchanges between the judge, the court clerk and the foreman of the jury, interspersed with remarks of the defence counsel
Appendix 5. Questionnaire on The use of direct or reported speech in court interpreting
“This informative book on an important subject will contribute to the body of court interpreting literature and will benefit researchers, students of interpreting and forensic linguistics, and legal and interpreting professionals.”


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Legal references


Bill of Rights Ordinance, Cap 383 § 8 (1991).
Jury Ordinance, Cap 3 § 4 (1c) (1999).
Jury Ordinance, Cap 3 § 23 (1999).
Jury Ordinance, Cap 3 § 24 (3) (1999).
Jury Ordinance, Cap 3 § 5(1e) (1999).
Official Languages Ordinance, Cap 5 § 3 (1974).
Pension Benefits Ordinance (Established Office) Order Cap. 99J Schedule 1 (2017) https://​www​.elegislation​.gov​.hk​/hk​/cap99J at 2017​-06​-16T00:00:00​/sch1.
Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance, Cap 24 (1989) (Repealed).
Securities and Futures Ordinance, Cap 571 (2012).

Court cases

Chala Sani Abdula v. The Queen, NZSC 130 (2011).

HKSAR v. Lai She Hung, HCCC 184/2004 (HKCFI 2004).

HKSAR v. Ng Pak Lun, CACC 153/2010 (22/11/2011).

Lai She Hung v. HKSAR, CACC 46/2005 (HKCA 2005).

R v. Kwok Leung, 4 HKLR 161 (1909).

R v. Trans, 2 SCR 951 (1994).

Cited by

Cited by other publications

Ng, Eva N.S.
2020.  In Interpreting in Legal and Healthcare Settings [Benjamins Translation Library, 151],  pp. 23 ff. Crossref logo
Ng, Eva N.S. & Ineke H.M. Crezee
2020.  In Interpreting in Legal and Healthcare Settings [Benjamins Translation Library, 151],  pp. 1 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 may 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CFP – Translation & interpretation
BISAC Subject: LAN023000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2018034740