For the multicultural community

The following information assists the multicultural community access court services and explains our inclusive practices.


Interpreter services

Information about interpreters is available on our interpreter webpage.


> Telephone enquiry

Call 131 450 to access more than 160 language interpreters by phone and ask to be connected to the area you need at the ACT Courts and Tribunal – list of Court and Tribunal contact areas.


> Face to face enquiry

Courts enquiry or registry staff will telephone Translation and Interpreter Services on 131 450 and request an interpreter on your behalf.


> During court proceedings

If you need an interpreter during proceedings, please liaise with the ‘responsible agency’ as early as possible and let them know of your needs.  The contact details for agencies responsible for booking interpreters for court and tribunal proceedings is available on our interpreter webpage.


Assistance whilst at the ACT Courts

If you have any special needs, please contact the ACT Courts and Tribunal outlining your circumstances prior to attending court.

Issue

Contact

Section

Telephone

Email

Special

requirements

Court Assistance Officer

Court and Tribunal Support

6205 0322

courtassistance@courts.act.gov.au

Security Screening

Security Manager

Sheriffs Office

6207 1171

sheriffs@courts.act.gov.au

Pre-hearing tours for people with language difficulties

Persons with language difficulties are welcome to arrange a tour of the ACT Courts and Tribunal before their hearing date.  Please telephone our Courts Assistance Officer on (02) 6205 0322 or email CourtAssistance@courts.act.gov.au to arrange a tour.

Multicultural liaison officers and support services

Cultural liaison officers are available in many of the legal and support services that interact with the ACT Courts.

You should explain any special needs or requirements you have to your legal or support service.  You or your legal or support service can contact the Courts to enquire about special assistance on the contact numbers above.

The key contacts areas that arrange interpreters for court proceedings can be found on our interpreter webpage.


Protection from Violence

The ACT Magistrates Court has implemented measures to improve access for members of the CALD community when seeking protection from family violence in the ACT.

These include:

Information about seeking protection from violence can be found at www.courts.act.gov.au/protection.


Inclusive Practice at the Courts

The ACT Courts and Tribunal is committed to the principle of ‘access to justice’.

Examples of our inclusive practice include:

  • facilitating access to interpreter services where appropriate – see our interpreter webpage for further details;
  • accommodating meal and prayer requirements for those undertaking jury service;
  • supporting witnesses to name their recognised god when making an oath – see schedule 2 of the Oaths and Affirmations Act 1984;
  • providing a multi-faith room on the ground floor of the courts building;
  • providing information in several community languages explaining how to apply for, and respond to, a personal protection or family violence protection order – see translated factsheets;
  • considering cultural attitudes and spiritual beliefs when making decisions in coronial processes - for example, what kind of examination of the deceased person is required and whether an invasive autopsy is necessary – see section 17A of the Coroners Act 1997;
  • providing training to our staff to improve their cultural awareness and competency;
  • using the national interpreter symbol on our websites.


Improving our services

Use of the National Interpreter Symbol

The Interpreter Symbol is a national public information symbol endorsed by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.

The symbol provides a simple way of indicating where people with limited or no English proficiency can ask for an interpreter when using government and other services.

The ACT Courts and Tribunal uses the symbol on our websites and in other multi-media to alert court and tribunal users to the availability of interpreters.

Cultural awareness training for our staff

The ACT Courts and Tribunal has a commitment to provide an inclusive environment for court users.

The ACTCT has developed an on-line training program to raise the cultural awareness of our staff.

The Courts recognise that cultural competency for staff is a journey that is learned over time.

Providing Feedback

If you see an area that we can improve our services, please email your feedback to feedback@courts.act.gov.au .