The work on legal interpreting can shed new light on or revisit the concept of interpreters’ professional rights and duties when they are operating in fragile environments (e.g. war and conflict zones). In particular, it helps explore the extent to which interpreters’ institutional and professional boundaries have been challenged in ethical terms. Drawing on Wadensjö’s (1998. Interpreting as Interaction. London/New York: Longman) framework and Sperber and Wilson’s (1986/1995. Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Oxford/Malden, MA: Blackwell) Relevance Theory, my analysis shows that legal interpreters’ frequent pragmatic shifts are evidence of their pronounced involvement impacting on their neutrality and, ultimately, on the fairness and effectiveness of the legal process. This approach leads to better understanding of how the concept of ethics fades away on a spectrum from legal settings to war and conflict zones. In particular, it highlights what adjustments need to be agreed upon between the authorities and interpreting professionals in order to facilitate communication and create a new ethical approach to interpreting.
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