Friday, November 16, 2012

Language skills relevant in removal of counsel

[6]          In addition to the importance of sustaining the value of a party's counsel of choice where possible, the removal of counsel for the respondents would cause them prejudice. Both respondents speak Farsi as do their counsel. Mr. Zargar, who was self-represented today, required and had the assistance of an interpreter who speaks Farsi. The importance of being able to communicate in the language of one's choice is important as it enables the most full and free exchange of information, facilitates the giving of instructions and helps to avoid the possibility of miscommunication. While Ms. Maftoun submits that there are at least 40 lawyers who speak Farsi in the area, requiring the respondents to engage new counsel would mean that they would have to incur increased costs because some time would be required for new counsel to familiarize themselves with the record at trial. The relationship between a solicitor and his or her client is a personal one and it is by no means certain that the respondents would have the same level of confidence in new counsel that they have in their present counsel.

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