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Certification requirements and legal remedies : Niedersachsen

Landeswappen von NiedersachsenNotes on general swearing-in and authorization of interpreters and translators in Lower Saxony

  1. General Swearing-In and Authorization
    1. Application Process

      The general swearing-in and authorization shall be made pursuant to § 9 a Sect. 1 Nds. AGGVG upon written request. Documentation of the required personal dependability and professional qualification shall be included with the application.

      Furthermore, the applicant must state his/her willingness and ability to accept and perform assignments by courts, government agencies and attorneys/notaries in Lower Saxony on short notice.

      The application shall be submitted by using the forms available under www.landgericht-hannover.niedersachsen.de Externer Link exclusively. The application form, plus a handwritten curriculum vitae (long form) and the following documents to verify personal dependability and professional qualification, shall be submitted to

      Landgericht Hannover
      - Der Präsident -
      Volgersweg 65
      30175 Hannover

      The general swearing-in and authorization shall not waive any foreigner restrictions which the applicant may be subjected to in exercising the professional activity. The application process does not include any review of such matter.

    2. Documentation of personal dependability pursuant to § 9 a Sect. 5 - 7 Nds. AGGVG

      For the documentation of personal dependability, the following documents shall be submitted:

      • a police certificate of good-standing (not older than 6 months) suitable for presentation to government authorities (Category O);
      • an express statement whether or not the applicant lives in an orderly financial situation;
      • an express statement that the applicant has not been previously convicted of any crimes, and that no investigation is currently pending; otherwise the criminal case or investigation proceedings shall be named;
      • an express statement regarding the willingness to accept assignments on short notice, if needed, unless the assignment cannot be accepted for cause;
      • a certificate by the respective local court (“Amtsgericht”) that the Debtors Register does not contain any entry pursuant to § 915 Civil Procedure Code;
      • Printout of the information from the central electronic list of debtors. This can be accessed by online registration via www.vollstreckungsportal.de Externer Link . If you do not have access to the internet it is also possible to register with a local court in Lower Saxony.
      • a certificate by the respective insolvency court that no entry has been recorded pursuant to § 26 Sect. 2 Insolvency Code.

      Personal dependability shall be assumed as long as there are no indications that the applicant will not properly fulfill his/her obligations as a generally sworn interpreter or authorized translator. Any person shall not be deemed personally dependable if

      • said person has forfeited a constitutional right pursuant to a decision by the German Federal Constitutional Court,
      • during the last five years prior the application has been convicted of crimes or misdemeanors pursuant to Section 9 (False Statements or Perjury) or 15 (Violation of Personal and Privacy Sphere) Special Segment, German Criminal Code, or pursuant to Assistance after the Fact, Assistance in Avoiding Prosecution, Fraud or Forgery, or
      • the applicant’s assets are subject to insolvency proceedings.
    3. Documentation of professional qualification pursuant to § 9 a Sect. 2 - 4 Nds. AGGVG

      Professional qualification shall require

      • language skills which enable the applicant to effortlessly understand everything he/she hears or reads, and to spontaneously, fluently and accurately express the detailed nuances, even in more complex situations, both in the German as well as the foreign language, and
      • secure knowledge of German legal terminology.

      The standard requirement shall be the highest level of language competency – C2 – of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the European Council. Comprehensive information on this topic may be found under

      www.goethe.de/z/50/commeuro/303.htm Externer Link

      The language competency shall be verified through the respective documents. If the applicant is already generally sworn-in as interpreter or publicly authorized as translator by law in another German state, the presentation of the respective certificate shall suffice for such verification. Otherwise, such verification shall be provided in general by presenting a certificate for the successful completion of an examination before a university, university of applied sciences, chamber of industry and commerce or other state or state-certified examination, such as

      • examination certificate before a chamber of industry and commerce, or an interpreter or translator examination,
      • interpreter or translator examination at a university or university of applied sciences institute (language department), or
      • certificate of completion at a state-certified language school.

      The documentation should also make it possible to evaluate language knowledge and abilities. Should the language skills not be fully evident from one of the examination certificates referred to above linguistic competency is to be proved by additional statements from at least three different parties regarding work as interpreter and/or translator.

      In addition, verification shall be provided to document solid knowledge of German legal terminology in civil, criminal and administrative law, including the respective proceedings codes. The course must have concluded with an examination. The applicant must be capable of properly understanding and accurately conveying legal terminology from various segments of court proceedings.

      Verification may be provided through qualified certificates or credentials from vocational training or from the successful completion of separate courses. The course must have concluded with an examination. Any certificate reflecting the mere participation in lectures, seminars, exercises and (intensive) courses without qualified final examination shall not suffice. The certificate or credential must reflect the type and extent of instructional materials and the examination taken. The names of some course providers known to this office may be obtained upon request.

      In cases where knowledge of the German legal terminology has been obtained through studies at a university or university of applied sciences, and said fact has been documented in the graduation certificate without further explanation, it is mandatory to also provide a copy of the examination ordinance applicable at the time which indicates the type and extent of instructional materials and the legal terminology examination taken. For any applicant who has successfully passed the first legal state examination, or the intermediate examination prior to the first legal state examination, or who satisfy the requirements of a judicial officer pursuant to § 2 Judicial Officer Code, a certified copy of the examination certificate shall suffice.

    4. Type of documents

      Such documents shall be submitted as originals or as copies certified by a government agency or attorney/notary. If the documents are written in any language other than German, a translation shall be included whose accuracy and completeness shall be certified by a translator authorized in Germany.

      Any foreign documents which did not originate from a member state of the European Union, shall be accompanied by an Apostille and legalization, respectively, to verify their authenticity.

    5. Costs

      The Law on Costs in Administrative Justice provides for fees for the authorization to certify the accuracy and completeness of translations, and also for the general swearing-in of interpreters. These are EUR 150.00 each for the first language and EUR 100.00 for each language thereafter. The fee shall be due and payable upon submittal of the application.

      There exists a prepayment obligation following a special request by the Regional Court in Hanover.

    6. Legal Remedy

      An appeal of fully or partially rejected applications by the President of the Regional Court in Hanover may be filed within one month following said notification, to be filed at the respective Administrative Court (§ 74 VwGO in connection with §§ 68 VwGO, 8a Nds. AGVwGO).

  2. Transfer of existing sworn and authorized interpreters and translators

    Generally sworn-in interpreters and authorized translators who received their authorizations prior to the effective date of §§ 9 - 9 h Nds. AGGVG on 1st Jan 2011 shall continue to be valid but cease at the end of 31st Dec 2015. This shall apply even if said authorizations have been issued without time restrictions or past the above deadline.

    Upon request, said authorizations shall be entered into the Directory of Generally Sworn Interpreters and Authorized Translators, maintained by the Regional Court in Hanover, for the duration of their existence but no longer than 31st December 2015.

  3. Temporary Services

    Pursuant to § 9 f Sect. 1 Nds. AGGVG, any interpreters and translators who are authorized and permitted to perform the duties of an interpreter or translator in another member state of the European Union, in another contract state of the Agreement on the European Economic Zone, or in another state for which the member states of the European Union have contractually agreed to the mutual acceptance of professional qualifications of its citizens, and who are legally domiciled with the intent of oral and/or written language mediation for court, government and attorney/notary or similar purposes, may temporarily and occasionally exercise the same services (temporary services) as a generally sworn interpreter or authorized translator domiciled and permitted for the territory of the State of Lower Saxony. If neither the professional activity nor the education toward same is regulated in the state of domicile of the applicant, the above shall apply only if the person has exercised the profession for a minimum of two years of the past ten years.

    1. Notification duty

      Pursuant to § 9 f Sect. 2 Nds. AGGVG, notification of temporary services shall be provided prior to their initial rendering domestically for the duration of one year. Such notification shall be provided in writing to the President of the Regional Court in Hanover, using the preprinted form available in the category “Hints and Application Forms” on the internet page of the Regional Court in Hannover www.landgericht-hannover.niedersachsen.de Externer Link . Extensions for one year each are available.

      This procedure may also be handled through the uniform service providers specified by the State of Lower Saxony, available under www.dienstleisterportal.niedersachsen.de Externer Link

      Said notification shall not waive any foreigner restrictions which the applicant may be subjected to in exercising the professional activity domestically. The application process does not include any review of such matter.

    2. Documents to be submitted

      Said notification shall be accompanied by the following documents:

      • certificate reflecting the fact that the applicant is authorized and permitted to perform the duties of an interpreter or translator in another member state of the European Union, in another contract state of the Agreement on the European Economic Zone, or in another state for which the member states of the European Union have contractually agreed to the mutual acceptance of professional qualifications of its citizens, and he/she is legally domiciled with the intent of oral and/or written language mediation for court, government and attorney/notary or similar purposes, and that said activity has not been banned, even temporarily, at the time the certificate has been submitted;
      • a professional qualification certificate pursuant to § 9 a Sect. 2 - 4 Nds. AGGVG; reference is hereby made to Item I.3. of these Notes;
      • in cases where the profession is not regulated in the state of domicile, a documentation indicating that the applicant has legally exercised the professional activity for a minimum of two years during the past ten years, and
      • verification of the job description under which the activity is listed in the state of domicile.
    3. Type of documents

      All documents shall be submitted either as originals or as copies certified by a government agency or attorney/notary. If the documents are written in a language other than German, a translation shall be included whose accuracy and completeness shall be certified by a translator authorized in Germany.

      Any foreign documents which did not originate from a member state of the European Union, shall be accompanied by an Apostille and legalization, respectively, to verify their authenticity.

      .

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