Former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery and the International Criminal Court’s Alexandra Tomic will address a major symposium next week (Thursday 24 April) on the quality of court interpreting in Australia.  

Having high quality interpreters in court is essential to ensuring access to justice for all members of the community, yet Australia lags behind some other jurisdictions and international courts in protocols, remuneration and training, symposium organisers say. 

Nicholas Cowdery, who is a Visiting Professorial Fellow at UNSW Law, will deliver the symposium’s opening address ‘The importance of quality interpreting in the justice system’. 

The keynote address will be delivered by Alexandra Tomic, Chief of the Interpretation and Translation Section at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is recognised as employing international best practice. 

Symposium co-convenor Associate Professor Ludmila Stern, from UNSW’s School of Humanities and Languages, said training and better working conditions were essential. 

“Court interpreting is one of the most demanding jobs there is, yet interpreters receive poor remuneration and are often forced to work in substandard conditions that can lead to interpreter fatigue, inaccuracies and even miscarriages of justice,” she said. 

*Alexandra Tomic will also deliver an Australian Human Rights Centre seminar on ‘Giving Voice to the Victims: Translating and Interpreting Sexual Violence at the ICC’ at UNSW on Wednesday 23 April. 

For more information on the symposium and its speakers go to the Interpreting and Translation Symposium website. 

What: Achieving Quality in Court Interpreting in Australia – symposium

Where: Central Lecture Block, UNSW Kensington Campus 

When: 9am-5pm, Thursday 24 April 2014

Media Contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 3249, 0405 207 685

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