Language Access

Did You Know?

Nearly 7 million (20%) Californians report speaking English "less than very well'
pie chart showing Limited English Proficiency. Of the 19.8% of Californians who speak English  
   Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2010)

More than 200 languages and dialects are spoken in California.  Without proper language assistance, Limited English Proficient (LEP) court users may be excluded from meaningful participation in the judicial court process. The Judicial Council has created a Joint Working Group to provide recommendations, guidance, and a consistent statewide approach to ensure language access throughout the courts. The end result was a statewide Language Access Plan (LAP) that was adopted by the Judicial Council in January 2015. Check back for updates regarding formation of the Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force.

The goals of the LAP are to:
  • Provide all persons with equal access to courts;
  • Ensure court procedures are fair and understandable; and
  • Respond to needs of court users from diverse cultural backgrounds.

What's New

February 2, 2015: Executive Summary for the Language Access Plan (coming soon in Spanish and other languages).

January 22, 2015: At its public meeting on January 22, the Judicial Council adopted a language access plan for the California courts (Press Release). The Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts is the result of an 18-month effort by the Joint Working Group that included public hearings and a 60-day formal public comment period on a draft of the plan.

Joint Working Group submits informational report to the Judicial Council regarding the draft Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. (August 14, 2014). Presentation (8/22). Audiocast (8/22)

 

What is Language Access?

Learn more about Language Access and how it impacts the courts and the community.

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What are California Courts Doing?

Click to see what the branch is doing now and to find out more about who is coordinating this effort.

 

Get Involved!

Public hearings on language access issues were held in late February and early March, 2014 in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

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