The Principle of Confidentiality for Professional Interpreters

Statement by the Executive Committee of AIIC

The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), in reaction to the suggestion that the interpreter present at the recent meeting between President Trump and President Putin may be required to give testimony, wishes to recall the principle enshrined in Article 2a of AIIC’s Code of Professional Ethics

AIIC Code of Professional Ethics

Art. 2 a) Members of the Association shall be bound by the strictest secrecy, which must be observed towards all persons and with regards to all information disclosed in the course of the practice of the profession at any gathering not open to the public.

If statesmen are to speak freely, they must be able to trust interpreters unreservedly not to reveal confidential information. Hence the importance of upholding the cardinal principle applied worldwide since WWII, that interpreters should never be obliged to give testimony.

    Signed, 19 July 2018

    Uroš PETERC, AIIC President

    Christopher THIÉRY, AIIC President 1963-1965 & Honorary President

    Gisela SIEBOURG, AIIC President 1985-1990

    Monique DUCROUX, AIIC President 1991-1993

    Malick SY, AIIC President 1994-1999

    Jean-Pierre ALLAIN, AIIC President 2000-2002

    Jennifer MACKINTOSH, AIIC President 2003-2005

    Benoît KREMER, AIIC President 2006-2011

    Linda FITCHETT, AIIC President 2012-2014

    Angela KEIL, AIIC President 2015-2017

About AIIC

The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), established in 1953, is the only global association of conference interpreters, and brings together over 3,000 professional interpreters from every continent.

AIIC, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, is an association composed of individual members who are professional conference interpreters, including many permanent staff interpreters working for government institutions, including the US Government, the EU institutions, the UN, international courts, NATO and others.  

Further information


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Recommended citation format:
Executive Committee. "The Principle of Confidentiality for Professional Interpreters". July 19, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2020. <>.

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Nathalie CANTERO



Je dois dire que je n'avais pas entendu l'information comme quoi les démocrates souhaitaient auditionner l'interprète ayant interprété l'entretien.

La réaction de l'AIIC s'imposait en effet. La signature de Christopher Thiéry donne un poids particulier à cette déclaration.

La période ne s'y prête pas vraiment, mais je pense qu'il faudrait essayer de diffuser  au maximum, et dans tous les pays où nous avons des membres actifs, à titre prophylactique, étant donné la pente dangereuse que prends le monde dans lequel nous vivons....(Du coup peut-être le traduire).

J'imagine que votre déclaration est aussi un communiqué de presse?

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Thomas AFTON


Thank you for this timely reminder of our basic principles, to which I would imagine we can all unreservedly adhere. I think, though, that the harsh new light that recent events have cast on the possibility of interpreters being supboenaed have led many of us to wonder what we ourselves would do in such circumstances. Does aiic have any thoughts or guidance to share in that regard?

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