The Australian Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity has published its Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals. The Standards are accompanied by Model Rules and a Model Practice Note to give effect to the Standards.
In addition to the Standards, there are several very useful appendices:
- An overview of the profession of interpreting and translating
- Plain English strategies
- Four-part test for determining need for an interpreter
- What judicial officers can do to assist the interpreter
- Interpreting in matters where a witness or defendant appears via audio-visual link.
My special favourite part is Standard 24 on Briefing Interpreters. 🙂 🙂 🙂
You can download the 132-page document here.
And I was delighted to see that back in March The Hon Justice François Kunc (Supreme Court of New South Wales, and also General Editor of The Australian Law Journal), had given a talk entitled “Experts and interpreters: non-lawyers essential to the legal system”, reported by Thomson Reuters as “Assisting your expert to assist the court”. You can read the whole article here. I’m sure readers will particularly like this:
“His Honour also noted the often overlooked contribution of interpreters operating within Australia’s legal systems, who are called upon (sometimes at short notice) to assume the role of lawyer, linguistic expert or counsellor, and anything in between. His Honour emphasised the essential role that interpreters play in the administration of and access to justice, and in ensuring procedural fairness for all the culturally and linguistically diverse communities who experience the Australian judicial system as jurors, litigants, or consumers of court information.”