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Quebec judge limits language law requiring English decisions be translated

A Quebec court judge has declared inoperable a portion of the province’s language law that requires English-language court decisions to be immediately translated into French.

Dennis Galiatsatos says in a May 15 decision the requirement for courts to simultaneously provide a French translation of a written decision rendered in English will slow down the legal process for English-speaking accused.

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A modification to the Quebec language charter scheduled to come into effect on June 1 states that a French translation must be provided “immediately and without delay.”

Galiatsatos says translations can take weeks or months to produce and approve, which will delay verdicts and force people who opt to be tried in English to wait longer to learn their fate.

He says the words “immediately and without delay” are incompatible with the language rights in the Criminal Code and should not apply in criminal procedures.

Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette suggested the government will appeal the decision, and maintained that the article in question is not discriminatory and not intended to delay proceedings.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press


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