International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 6, No 1 (1999)

The right to interpreting and translation services in New Zealand courts

Chris Lane, Katherine McKenzie-Bridle, Lucille Curtis
Issued Date: 7 Mar 2007


New Zealand law has not dealt with interpreting and translation in court as a general language policy issue, but it has recognized limited rights to such services in pursuit of other rights, and these rights to interpreting and translation have expanded since 1987. The law to be applied in a particular circumstance is a combination of legislation, case law, and human rights law based on international conventions, and depends on whether the proceedings are criminal or civil, or are focused on specific categories of persons, including Maori. Individuals' rights depend on what language they use; on whether (written) translation or (oral) interpreting is involved; and on what role they have in the proceedings. Recent developments represent a move towards recognizing more general language rights of Maori and of non-English speakers in court proceedings, and include a legal definition of 'interpreter' which can include 'translator'.

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DOI: 10.1558/sll.1999.6.1.115


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