What to Look For in a Conference Interpreter for International Arbitration
International arbitration is an incredibly sensitive and rigorous arena. Contracts, unnecessary litigation, diplomacy and even, at times, human rights are on the line when formal agreements are violated by organizations, individuals, or political institutions.
The highest level of language service providers are the only option when individuals or groups prepare for professional arbitration on the international front.
Language services for international arbitration: 101
Whether you are seeking international arbitration for your organization, or you are interested in drafting contracts or agreements that clearly outline contractual provisions for future disputes, you must hire the most highly-trained and competent consecutive and simultaneous interpreters.
As with legal translation and interpretation, the international arbitration sector is no place for the typical community or courtroom interpreter. While community interpreters are language savvy and usually have the best of intentions, they are not nearly as educated, trained, or informed as conference interpreters. Read The Difference Between Community Interpreters and Conference Interpreters for more details on that topic.
For example, the interpreters here at CCA have graduate degrees in linguistics, hundreds of hours (and multiple years) of interpretation experience in the international arena, and they are accredited by some of the industry’s most coveted organizations and agencies – such as the United Nations, the European Union, and so on. Ultimately, you’re on the search for the crème de la crème of language services providers – one who routinely provides the highest-level domestic and international simultaneous interpreters and translators for influential clients.
Legal, political, and niche industry backgrounds are essential
Consider some of the places where international arbitrations are held (more on that next), and you can understand how essential it is that your interpreting team has more than just a working knowledge of the target language. They must also have a working knowledge of the legal system, as they are navigating the tumultuous, complex, and powerful world of international law and legalese – a language unto itself.
Then there is the layer of cultural awareness and diplomacy involved. We often say that interpreters must perform an intricate, verbal ballet – one that facilitates diplomacy at every turn. Their skills can make the difference between a tense conversation that continues to move forward with fluidity and grace, or one that simmers and boils until the emotional tension is too heated for diplomatic dialogue or negotiation.
The realm of international arbitration is not a place for interpreters to earn their merit. Rather, it is where vetted and proven interpreters are relied upon to accomplish a heroic level of conversation and communication on multiple levels – from the accuracy of the words and their intentions to facial expressions, body language, and cultural awareness.
International arbitration centers are located in the world’s most powerful cities
The most heavily-utilized international arbitration centers are located in cities with the greatest concentrations of world power.
International Arbitration & Mediation Centers in the United States
The United States has the largest number of international arbitration and mediation centers in the world. Some of the most highly regarded are:
- The International Center for Investment Dispute Resolution (ICSID). Part of the World Bank Group, the ICSID’s headquarters is in Washington, DC. To date, the ICSID has settled the majority of the world’s investment disputes. Here, you’re looking for simultaneous interpreters who have both legal and financial niche expertise.
- The American Arbitration Association (AAA). This is also the International Center for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and is located in New York City. Considered an alternative dispute resolution center, the AAA-ICDR’s goal is to provide fair, rational, faster, and less adversarial means to handle the disputes that inevitably arise – lessening the burden on court systems and decreasing financial hardships for those shattered by natural disasters.
- The New York International Arbitration Center (NYAC). This center is unique in that it functions more like an event center dedicated to international arbitration, rather than a functional agent in international dispute resolution. This means the NYAC does administer arbitrations or publish arbitration rules. They offer, “world-class hearing rooms, breakout rooms, and state-of-the-art technology for international arbitration of any size, including large, multi-party arbitrations, mediations, and conferences of all kinds, however administered.”
That brings us to the subject of “arbitration rules.” While located around the world, in a variety of cultural hubs, international arbitration centers are dedicated to neutrality and the most positive and sustainable outcomes from the spectrum of legal, financial, political, and human interest-based disputes.
Currently, the arbitration rules used by a large majority of the world’s countries – and their international arbitration centers – stem from the legal framework established by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is located in Paris, France. It’s one of the world’s largest business organizations – if not the largest. The ICC’s goal is to enable businesses to “secure peace, prosperity, and opportunity for all.”
The Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA)
Next on the list is CRCICA, located in Cairo, Egypt. It was established in 1979 by Asian African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO). The goal was to have regional centers to facilitate international commercial arbitration between businesses in Asia and Africa. The center has grown and is now the largest arbitration center in the African region.
Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
Founded in 1991, the SIAC is one of the most recent additions to the international arbitration center roster. Over the past two decades, it has established a reputation for being one of the world’s best arbitration centers, garnering awards from multiple international business organizations.
It’s important to mention that international arbitration centers are exclusively non-profit organizations, dedicated to neutrality and confidentiality. You can also click here for a broader list of the most significant international arbitration centers around the world.
Make sure your conference interpreters can meet the demands
As you can imagine, facilitating international arbitration processes is rigorous for an interpreter. Only the best of the best should be trusted with the responsibility. Ensure your prospective language solutions providers work exclusively with vetted interpreters who have experience in international law, in addition to relevant industry or organization expertise.
The team at Chang-Castillo and Associates has earned a reputation for being the platinum standard in written translation and simultaneous and consecutive oral interpretation. Please contact us – +1 (877) 708-0005 – to begin preparing for international arbitration interpreting services you can trust.