Who is leading the change
- Court Services Victoria
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria allocate specific funding for family violence interpreters and develop court guidelines for booking interpreters in family violence matters. Among other things, the guidelines should take account of the following:
- an early process for checking whether parties require an interpreter
- a practice of booking two interpreters if both parties require an interpreter
- a presumption that wherever possible a female interpreter will be booked for a female party.
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (MCV) has consulted with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Family Safety Victoria, National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters, Language Service Providers and Monash University on interpreter engagement and training for interpreters. The MCV is implementing projects to:
- enhance court guidelines for booking and using interpreters in family violence matters
- improve interpreter capability by increasing their knowledge and skills in family violence matters at court
- improve access to interpreter services for remote court services, including increased access to telephone interpreters and increased use of video conferencing interpreters in remote areas
- improve the court experience by making early referrals to interpreter services through the Family Violence Contact Centre and Pre-Court Engagement Program.
Court interpreters are readily available to assist people with family violence matters at the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Daily planning and coordination processes help identify when an interpreter is required so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Interpreters can also be booked through the court registry or may be part of an early referral through the Pre-Court Engagement Program.
To improve the experience of people who need interpreter services for family violence matters, MCV has:
- revised operating guidelines for booking and using interpreters in family violence matters and enhanced content in existing induction training for court staff
- developed and delivered court-specific family violence training for interpreters with Monash University, which will contribute to National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters recertification
- streamlined processes for the use of interpreters in online hearings to support continuity and parties’ access to interpreters before and after hearings
- embedded processes for use of phone and video interpreters when an in-person interpreter is not available
- commissioned a pilot of an instant video interpreting service, known as VideoLoop, at Melbourne, Mildura and Shepparton Magistrates’ Courts. The service is enabled by a mobile web application and enables instant access to video interpreting services in five languages.
MCV has ensured that the work associated with interpreters is consistent with the Using Interpreting Services – Victorian Government Guidelines on Policy and Procedures and reflects the Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and .
Reviewed 27 January 2023