School of Humanities and Languages
In 2019, a team of UNSW researchers, with the support of industry partner organisations received an ARC (Australian Research Council) Linkage grant for the research project Access to justice in interpreted proceedings: the role of Judicial Officers. The research team includes UNSW researchers: Prof Ludmila Stern, Prof Sandra Hale, A/Prof Stephen Doherty and Ms Melanie Schwartz and Mr George Bisas as an Industry Partner from Multicultural NSW. The partner organisations represent interpreter bodies, interpreting service providers and bodies representing the judiciary.
This national study will be the first to investigate the Australian Judicial Officers’ (JOs) role in achieving effective communication during interpreted bilingual proceedings. It will examine whether JOs adhere to the Recommended National Standards (RNS) and compare their practices to those of international criminal courts and tribunals.
With the assistance of its Partner Organisations, the research team will observe interpreted criminal court proceedings in most jurisdictions. These will be complemented by interviews and focus groups with JOs, interpreters and lawyers to capture the broader perspectives of different stake holders. To increase the representativeness of the findings arising from the observations and interviews, the researchers will compile and analyse a large corpus of transcripts of interpreted proceedings and judgments.
The project’s practical outcomes will include strategic recommendations for enhanced communication strategies in interpreted proceedings – an area of growing courtroom demand that presents significant challenges.