If you don’t speak or understand English well or have a hearing and/or speech impairment, there are interpreting services that can help you contact a Magistrates’ Court.
Court can be confusing, especially if English is not your first language. An interpreter can help you understand information and participate in the court process.
The Magistrates’ Court may be able to arrange an interpreter if you are:
- an accused person charged with an offence
- an applicant or respondent in a family violence intervention order matter
- an applicant in a Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) matter.
The Magistrates’ Court does not make arrangements for an interpreter* to attend or are responsible for the costs of any service if you are:
- involved in a civil matter
- involved in a personal safety intervention order matter
- making any application or appearing at court for any application under the Road Safety Act 1986, such as licence eligibility or interlock removal applications.
*These provisions do not apply for requests for Auslan interpreting services.
If you are a witness and need an interpreter, tell the person who asked you to come to court as soon as possible. It is their responsibility to arrange an interpreter for you.
Court interpreters must be accredited and repeat the exact words spoken or signed by each person and cannot provide legal advice or give opinions.
If the court needs documents translated, you may also need to arrange and provide translations. See the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters website (NAATI) or Language Loop website to find an accredited translator.
Victoria Legal Aid has translated publications about different areas of the law. See the Victoria Legal Aid website for more information.
To organise an interpreter, contact the Magistrates' Court where the matter is being heard.
How do I contact a Magistrates’ Court?
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)
If you need an interpreter to contact a Magistrates’ Court, call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.
Tell the TIS operator the phone number of the Magistrates’ Court you need to contact.
An interpreter will call the court and translate to make sure you understand the information you need.
National Relay Service (NRS)
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment and would like to contact a Magistrates’ Court, call the National Relay Service (NRS).
TTY users: call 133 677, and give the phone number of the Magistrates’ Court you need to contact
Speak and listen users: call 1300 555 727, then give the Magistrates’ Court phone number.
See the NRS website for more information and contact options.