The Court provides a range of services and facilities to assist clients with translation services.

Document translations

If you need translated documents for the courts, they must be translated by a qualified translator.

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) is the national organisation which accredits interpreters and translators. When using a private translator, look for NAATI accreditation. To find a translator, use NAATI's online directory at www.naati.com.au or phone 1300 557 470.

  • It is the responsibility of parties to provide accredited translated copies of foreign documents to the Court. In exceptional circumstances where the Court determines that it is in the interests of the Court to obtain a translation of a document to assist in a Defended Hearing, this should be authorised by a judicial officer, and can be arranged and funded in the same way as interpreter services.
  • The Court may receive correspondence in a foreign language from a litigant or potential litigant. Unless this correspondence clearly fits the category of "nuisance mail", it is the registry's obligation to meet the cost of translation, in accordance with the basic principle of access and equity. Where there is a doubt as to the relevance of, and necessity for a full translation, a general translation may be obtained, which would enable the responsible officer to then decide what further action should be taken.

Free document translations

  • The Department of Social Services (DSS) provides a Free Translating Service to eligible Australian citizens and migrants settling permanently in Australia to have their eligible personal documents translated into English. Some temporary/provisional visa holders may also be eligible for the service depending on their visa type.
  • The Free Translating Service aims to assist people settling permanently in Australia to participate in the community and supports positive outcomes for newly arrived migrants.
  • Eligible clients can have eligible personal documents translated into English for free within the first two years of arrival in Australia.
  • To enquire about the Free Translating Service, contact your local Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) provider.

Adult Migrant English Program providers

Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) service providers assess the eligibility of the applicant and their documents for the Free Translating Service.

To learn more about AMEP or view a list of AMEP service providers in Australia, please visit the Department of Industry and Science website or call the Skilling Australia information line on 13 38 73.

More information about the Free Translating Service is available on the Department of Social Services website.

Code of ethics

Interpreters and translators engaged by the courts are bound at all times to act in accordance with the standards set out in the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) Code of Ethics. AUSIT is the national professional association of interpreting and translation practitioners. General principles of the Code of Ethics include: Professional Conduct; Confidentiality; Competence; Impartiality; Accuracy; Employment; Professional Development and Professional Solidarity. Further information can be obtained from the website: www.ausit.org

Feedback and complaints

Clients are encouraged to provide feedback to the courts on the standard of interpreting and translating services provided.

Where a complaint is made concerning the calibre or use of interpreter services, the complaints officer in accordance with standard complaints handling procedures, should handle the complaint. Clients who are deaf or hearing impaired should telephone the National Relay Service on 133 677. Clients who are deaf/hearing impaired and speech impaired should telephone 1300 555 727.

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