Interpreting & Translation Symposium - "Achieving Quality in Court Interpreting in Australia"

When:24 Apr 2014, 9am - 5pm
Venue:Central Lecture Block 8, UNSW Australia (Map Ref E19)
Who:Led by Industry Professionals
Darlinghurst Courthouse Taylor Square, Sydney

Instructions to Livestream the Symposium

The event will be broadcast online via Livestream for people who cannot attend, remote hook up does not require registration for the event. The link below will show you how to access the event via Livestream:

Youtube Instruction Video 

Note: This is an unlisted video on YouTube, so it can only be accessed via this link. You will not be able to search for this video directly on

What to do:

1. Watch the Youtube Instructions video

2. Go to the Livestream website to set up an account for yourself.

3. Search for our “MAITS UNSW” account on the Livestream website

4. “Follow” us

5. On 24APR, Log in to the Livestream website before 9am

6. Search for “MAITS UNSW”

7. Click on the event poster under our account at 9am and start watching the event live.

If you have any questions, please email Sean Cheng at before the event.

Register for the Event

Registration is now closed

The need to improve quality of court interpreting in domestic courts is a subject of ongoing discussion amongst a vast community of stakeholders worldwide: interpreters, court administrators, lawyers and judges, interpreter educators and researchers. The question of how to achieve this improvement is complex because it is connected to a multifaceted context and involves issues as diverse as interpreter training and accreditation, working conditions and remuneration, quality control, and the interpreter users’ role. In Australia, the need to raise the bar of court interpreting has been addressed in academic literature, conferences and reports (namely the 2011 Hale report commissioned by AIJA).

What is the way forward to achieve quality of court interpreting in Australia? By bringing together researchers, educators, agencies and interpreting and legal practitioners, this symposium will further the discussion on what practical steps can be taken to raise the bar of interpreting in Australian courts and achieve higher quality.

Confirmed Key Participants

Opening address by Mr Nick Cowdery - Visiting Professorial Fellow (UNSW), former Director of Public Prosecutions of NSW

Ms Alexandra Tomic - Chief, Court Interpretation and Translation Section, International Criminal Court (Ex interpreter from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia)

Prof. Sandra Hale, UNSW

A/Prof. Ludmila Stern, UNSW

Ms Helen Slatyer - Macquarie University

Mr John Beever - Chief Executive Officer of NAATI

Mr Hakan Harman - Chief Executive Officer, Community Relations Commission

Mr Ari Pappas - Executive Director, Marketing & Client Services, OnCall Interpreters and Translators

Mr Stephen Doumit - Legal Aid Commission of NSW

Ms Francoise Matthews - practising French interpreter

Discussant: Dr Uldis Ozolins - Adjunct Associate Professor, UWS

Key Biographies 

Opening address by Nicholas Richard Cowdery

 nick cowdery

Nicholas Richard Cowdery AM QC, the former Director of Public Prosecutions for the State of New South Wales (1994 – 2011), is an Adjunct Professor in Faculty of Law at UNSW and other universities. He is a legal expert consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat, London and is a consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on a drafting project with the IAP. He is a member of National Human Rights Committee of the Law Council of Australia (LCA), and Chair of the LCA’s International Human Rights Observer Panel. He is a member of human rights bodies in the International Commission of Jurists (Australian Section) and LAWASIA (of which he is a Life Member). He is a White Ribbon Ambassador and a Campaign Champion of the Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People Campaign. He has received many domestic and international awards. He is the author of “Getting Justice Wrong: myths, media and crime” (Allen & Unwin, 2001)

Keynote lecture by Alexandra Tomic

Alexandra Tomic

Alexandra Tomic is currently the Chief of Court Interpretation and Translation Section at the International Criminal Court. Previously, from 1994 to 2003, she worked as a translator, field interpreter and court interpreter at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The experience gathered on field missions, in the office behind the computer chasing deadlines and in the courtroom booth was critical in acquiring the skills necessary to set up the language services at the Court from scratch in 2003. 

Alexandra has a BA in French and English and a Masters in Military Studies and was trained as an interpreter by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Her languages are English, French, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Dutch and occasionally Spanish.

Symposium Program

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