The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a)Resolution Chapter 179 of the Statutes of 1973 requested the Judicial Council of California to undertake a comprehensive survey of the language needs of California citizens and residents in relation to the judicial process.
(b)The Judicial Council performed this undertaking with the aid and assistance of a special advisory committee appointed by the Chief Justice of California and significant work was done by a private consultant under contract to the Judicial Council.
(c)During 1976 and 1977, the Judicial Council submitted to the Legislature a series of detailed reports identifying specific language needs of California citizens and residents, describing language services that had been provided by California's justice system, indicating special problem areas in need of solution, and setting forth specific objectives to be achieved by providing adequate interpreter services to non-English-speaking citizens and residents in California. These reports resulted in adoption of this article by Chapter 158 of the Statutes of 1978.
(d)In 1990 the Chief Justice of California appointed the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Court Interpreters to propose actions to the Judicial Council to (1) improve the quality of interpreter services provided to courts, (2) increase the number of available, qualified court interpreters, and (3) provide non-English-speaking persons with increased access to the court system. At the request of the advisory committee, the Judicial Council proposed to the Legislature changes in this article to clarify the law, to create a program to certify court interpreters, and to coordinate programs for interpreter recruiting, training, testing, certification, and continuing education and evaluation.
(e)The Legislature recognizes that the number of non-English-speaking persons in California is increasing, and recognizes the need to provide equal justice under the law to all California citizens and residents and to provide for their special needs in their relations with the judicial and administrative law system.
(f)Competent interpreter services in the courts and judicial and administrative agencies should be provided through programs to recruit, train, test, certify, and evaluate interpreters. Continuing education and evaluation would also help ensure adequate interpreter services to the courts.
(g)To plan, monitor, and coordinate interpreter services, reliable and uniform data are needed on the continuing use of and need for interpreters in the courts.