Interpreter Services

The Court aims to provide access to justice for people who are unable to effectively communicate in English.

Upon request received from a party or their legal representative, the Court will arrange for and pay the costs of interpreter services for a person with limited English fluency or a hearing impairment for the following purposes:-

The Judicial Officer dealing with a matter shall retain a discretion to determine if an interpreter is to be used and whether the interpreter is acceptable.

Requesting an interpreter

Parties or their legal representatives can request an interpreter in two ways:-

When eLodging an application – make sure the “Interpreter required” box is ticked and the appropriate interpreter language is selected.

Interpreter Request Form – complete all the details on the Interpreter Request Form, sign it and email to the Court at transcripts.familycourt@justice.wa.gov.au.

It is suggested that requests be made as soon as possible after the hearing date is notified to ensure an appropriate interpreter for that language is available.

As soon as a trial date is allocated, a party requiring interpreter services at the trial should complete an Interpreter Request Form (see above) so the Court Technology Officer can make arrangements for an interpreter to attend at the trial. The trial may be delayed or adjourned if an interpreter is not requested and available.

For queries about interpreter requests contact the Court Technology Officer by email to transcripts.familycourt@justice.wa.gov.au or by telephone on 08 9224 8349

Court will arrange interpreters

The Court will arrange for interpreters through accredited interpreter agencies listed on the WA Government common use arrangements list (CUAITS2017).

The Court will always arrange for the services of NAATI certified interpreters. In cases where the agency cannot provide a NAATI certified interpreter, a non-certified interpreter may be used for face-to face or telephone interpreting at the discretion of the Judicial Officer or Court Officer dealing with the matter.

The Court will not meet the costs of any interpreter that is not arranged by the Court, nor will the Court accept responsibility for the cost of interpreter services related to instructing lawyers.

Indigenous interpreters

In respect to non-NAATI accredited indigenous interpreters, payment may be made at the discretion of the Court.

Overseas witnesses

Where a witness from outside Australia provides evidence to the Court via a telephone or video link, the Court will not authorise the costs of any related interpreter services unless the services are provided in Australia.

Divorce proceedings

For undefended divorce proceedings, the assistance of a friend to act as interpreter is encouraged and will be sufficient for those proceedings.

Interpreters need their attendance at Court verified

Interpreters who attend the Court require verification of their attendance to be given on a voucher or a mobile phone app, which they should present for signature and/or verification by a Court Officer at the Court before they lodge it with the accredited agency to receive payment for their services.

Interpreter services - availability issues

The Court cannot guarantee that the services of an interpreter in a particular language/dialect will always be available at a specific court event. The Court uses a number of accredited interpreter agencies listed on the WA Government common use arrangements list (CUAITS2017). These services are subject to supply and demand variations for qualified interpreters at any given time.

When the services of a NAATI certified face-to-face interpreter are not available, the Judicial Officer or Court Officer has discretion to accept telephone interpreting or interpreting by an uncertified interpreter.

If an interpreter is no longer required

If an interpreter is no longer required for a specific hearing date because the matter has settled or the hearing date vacated or any other reason, please immediately notify the Court Technology Officer via email to transcripts.familycourt@justice.wa.gov.au or telephone 08 9224 8349.

Feedback about interpreter services

The Court welcomes feedback about interpreter services. Feedback and suggestions about interpreter services can be sent to the Court Technology Officer via email to transcripts.familycourt@justice.wa.gov.au.


Last updated: 17-Sep-2020

[ back to top ]