Official or co-official languages


Brief description of linguistic diversity

German, Flemish, Italian, Basque, Catalan and Occitan dialects are spoken in different parts of the country. Arabic is the largest minority language.



Current legislative mandates for LIT and certification

There is no certification per se but registers of court interpreters and sworn translators (called expert translators and expert interpreters) are kept by Courts of Appeal and the Court of Cassation, in pursuance of Act No. 2004_130 and Decree No. 2004_1463. Said act and decree specify a number of criteria to be applied when admitting court experts to the local or national registers. However, judges are free to use anyone if they cannot find an LIT who is available (Section 157 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure).

Responsible parties:


Current accrediting bodies

Appeal Courts and the Court of Cassation.

Does register exist?

The registers are kept by each appeal court and the Court of Cassation.

The criteria for admitting an individual to the register of an appeal court are the same as for any other judicial expert, to wit: any corporate entity or individual offering good guarantees in terms of probity, moral standards, etc., who has or has had for a “sufficient period of time” an activity related to his specialty, under conditions that have given him sufficient expertise. The registers are broadly recognized and accepted by stakeholders but they are not always sufficient to meet the needs of courts and police forces.

Who develops certification exams?

No certification exams.

Who/How many rate performances?



Not regularly, especially on the part of judicial authorities.


Test Format:


T & I in one exam?


Screening exam? Describe.


Test type/format



Domains tested







Website? Dissemination of info about certification

The Court of Cassation’s website includes the texts of the Act and Decree governing court experts and also displays the registers of all appeal courts and of the Court of Cassation.


Requirements to sit exam



Sample questions or practice exam available?



Additional qualifications for certification (experience, training, educational level, nationality)


Cost to candidate/#of locations/ frequency


Feedback on exam performance


Score grievance procedure available


Maximum nº of sittings


Permanent or renewable certification  





Revocation of certification possible?

Court experts are designated for an initial period of two years and then for renewable five-year periods. Renewal is not systematic.

If so, for what reasons?

For lack of activity as a court expert; for lack of continuing professional development sessions (Decree of December 23, 2004); for misconduct; for lack of competence

Performance monitored? If so, how?

A list of all missions assigned each year must be turned in once a year prior to March 1, together with copies of training certificates. Renewal is refused in the event a court expert has not taken any continuing professional development sessions during the previous year.