Rights of foreign nationals in Italy

The right to an interpreter in a criminal prosecution

Rights of foreign nationals in Italy









Pursuant to Article 143 of Italian Code of Criminal Procedure, when the defendant does not know Italian, he has he right to have a free assistance of an interpreter in order to understand the accusation made against him and to follow the proceeding.

The assignment of the interpreter or translator must be done as soon as possible and it is necessary even when the judge, prosecutor or police officers are able to communicate in the language of the defendant.

When the interpreter is appointed, he can not refuse the task, execpt in the cases of incompatibility, recusal or abstention.

The right to an interpreter or translator is granted even to the person subject to preliminary investigations (Article 61).

Mr. Luca Santaniello
Lawyer at Santaniello & Partners

Note: see also What to do if you are arrested in Italy and English speaking lawyers in Italy