Chapter published in:Common Law in an Uncommon Courtroom: Judicial interpreting in Hong Kong
Eva N.S. Ng
[Benjamins Translation Library 144] 2018
► pp. 129–146
English trials heard by Chinese jurors
The previous chapter examined the linguistic disadvantage experienced by non-native English-speaking (NNES) witnesses testifying in English in court and discussed how this might also impact on other audience members who either speak no English or do not have a native command of the English language, including in the latter case Chinese jurors. This chapter takes one step further to explore the comprehension of the NNES Chinese jurors as the “judges of facts” in the Hong Kong courtroom. Drawing on evidence from the two jury trials of my research data, the findings of a previous study, as well as one case of the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong, this chapter provides evidence about the jury comprehension problem in the High Court of Hong Kong. It also discusses how the scenarios presented in particular in Chapters 6 and 7, where juries have to rely entirely on interactions in English due to the use of the chuchotage mode of interpretation or a total absence of interpretation, might impact on the comprehension of the jury and potentially on the administration of justice.