Resources for NZ Interpreters: Court Interpreting

As interpreters will know, the justice system is not the same in two countries. Specific preparation is required when interpreting in court. The following contains resources for court interpreters in New Zealand:

Ministry of Justice

The website of the Ministry of Justice is a great starting place. It offers, for example, information on what to expect in the courtroom including the use of an interpreter (also sign language interpreters). This page in particular addresses self-represented litigants, but includes what to wear, how to address the judge, etc. – all of which equally applies to interpreters. Past judicial decisions can be accessed online via the MoJ website. The site also contains information for people being summoned for jury service. Although interpreters don’t need to know all the details, there is a useful glossary with terms that are likely be used in any court setting. The site also offers a very comprehensive guide to justice-sector terminology.

Courts of New Zealand

The Courts of New Zealand site contains general information on the history of the court system in New Zealand as well as specific information about the role and structure of each court. Interpreters can even see what the court they are interpreting at looks like from the inside which might be helpful for the first assignment at a specific court. The site is well-structured and easy to navigate. There is even a list of papers and speeches which can be downloaded.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau has got a whole section dedicated to Government and Law. The information there ranges from an introduction to specific laws to the various courts and law enforcement. Those unfamiliar with general court processes will find this site helpful, too.

New Zealand Law Society

This site is dedicated to lawyers and those looking for a legal counsel, but interpreters will also find useful information there on legal issues in New Zealand. Tip: All Law Talk magazines can be downloaded from the archive.

This list is not exhaustive, but should provide a good starting point for interpreters who work in court settings in New Zealand. Any other suggestions/resources are welcome!

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