For the multicultural community
The following information assists the multicultural community access court services and explains our inclusive practices.
Information about interpreters is available on our interpreter webpage.
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.
Court Assistance Officer
Court and Tribunal Support
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.
- a video explaining the protection order process;
- translated brochures in 11 different languages; and
- an action plan to support improvements across the courts to support access to for the CALD community.
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.
If you see an area that we can improve our services, please email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org .