It is a fairly well known fact that rules, regulations and laws fluctuate immensely within differentiating countries. Furthermore, legal proceedings can progress in different manners as well. When one is used to the judicial system of his or her own country, experiencing proceedings in another can be both intimidating and frightening. This is why it is often very beneficial for all who are part of a country’s judicial branch to undergo cross-cultural training. Culture issues in law are delicate, complex matters that must be approached competently.
One of the first cultural issues in law to consider is that of language. Many court systems provide defendants, witnesses, etc. with a translator. However, oftentimes a translator simply provides the word for word translation but leaves out the cultural context, which can be very important to the situation. Translators must have a solid understanding of the culture which they are representing in their translation so that they are accurately able to portray the true meaning of the person for whom they are interpreting.
Another cultural issue of law to consider is socioeconomic status. Each level of socioeconomic status has its own cultural implications residing within it. This status can influence language, thought processes, memories, beliefs, demeanor and behaviors. A judicial system that is not able to account for the cultural differences resulting from socioeconomic status can oftentimes do a large disfavor to those it is representing.
Lastly, morality is another cultural issue of law to take into account. Moral belief systems can be very different depending on the culture from which one comes. What is considered to be immoral within one culture could be seen as necessary or even laudable in another. This does not mean that crimes should be simply overlooked due to differentiating ethical beliefs. However, it does mean that those responsible for representing the defendant should be able to both understand, and make evident, the cultural background from which the defendant comes as well as the possible culturally motivated factor as to why the crime was committed.
Many lawyers, judges, social workers, advocates, police officers, and so forth are able to perform their civic duties with a greater level of competence after undergoing cross-cultural training specifically geared towards their particular field. Cultural Candor specializes in designing customized cross-cultural training programs such as these. Visit our homepage to learn more or contact us today for a complimentary consultation.