Certified Specialised Legal Interpreter

A CSLI is…

Certified Specialist Legal Interpreters are experienced and accomplished interpreters who are experts in interpreting in the legal domain. They have completed training and undertake continuous professional development in specialist legal interpreting.

They are highly competent language users, who understand specialised terminology and have extensive knowledge of the legal domain. CSLIs have a sophisticated understanding of their role in legal settings, for example as officers of the court. They have a full and detailed knowledge and understanding of how culture and language interact, and the relevant codes of ethics and professional standards in the legal domain.

While CSLIs may work in the same institutions as CIs, they are competent to interpret complex, highly specialised, expert-to-expert communication in those institutions. For example; sentencing remarks by a judge, expert witness statements or testimony, or presentation of legal arguments.

NAATI’s Certified Specialist Legal Interpreter test is an objective assessment of the skills and competencies needed to practice as an interpreter in the legal domain in Australia.

Learn more about the different certification types.

Apply for Certification

To apply for certification, you need to register your email in our customer portal, myNAATI. After you have registered, you can make your application from the myNAATI portal.

You need to hold a Certified Interpreter credential to be eligible to sit the Certified Specialist Legal Interpreter Test.

There are five prerequisite pathways for eligibility to sit the Certified Specialist Legal Interpreter Test. 

Our Certification Scheme Design Summary document helps explain the pathways.

For spoken languages, the Certified Specialist Legal Interpreter test involves five tasks:

1. One knowledge test with seven sections (total of 60 questions)

  • Section 1: Legal terminology and general legal knowledge
  • Section 2: Knowledge of legal systems and processes
  • Section 3: Ethics and law
  • Section 4: Culture and law
  • Section 5: The role of the interpreter in the legal context
  • Section 6: Advanced interactional management
  • Section 7: Research and preparation

2. One dialogic extracts task (consecutive mode)

3. One consecutive Interpreting – Monologue into LOTE task

4. One consecutive Interpreting – Monologue into English task

5. One simultaneous Interpreting – Monolingual exchange into LOTE task

Interpreting tasks will cover different legal domains, jurisdictions and types of courts.

CSLIs have advanced research skills that enable them to perform in complex and specialised interpreting situations. The ability to prepare for assignments in advance and to use appropriate available resources is one of the skills the CSLI test assesses.

The knowledge test will ask questions about a broad range of legal domains and types of courts.

Briefs for each monologue task will be sent out one week before the test date to allow candidates to prepare. A Case Summary Sheet will be sent out 24 hours before the test (for the consecutive monologue into LOTE task). 

Make sure you read and become familiar with the Candidate Instructions. 

The different question types in the Knowledge Test are marked in different ways. Multiple choice, match, drag and drop questions are automatically marked by the testing system. Short answer, long answer and essay questions are marked by at least two examiners based upon detailed marking guidelines.

Candidates will receive overall scores for each section of the test, as well as a total score.

Make sure you read and understand the following information before your test:

If you would like to sit the CSLI test, please apply ASAP.

  • 16-20 December 2019: Korean, Japanese, Mandarin

The list of dates above is not exhaustive. Testing may only be available in some states, depending on demand.

Further dates will be published as they become available. NAATI reserves the right to amend test dates and languages up to eight weeks before the scheduled test date.

Click here to find out about certification prerequisites, and here to apply for a certification test.

Please note that NAATI must have assessed your application as 'eligible for testing' before you can be invited to one of these test sessions. Click here to learn more about how certification tests are scheduled.