In Australia, the road to becoming a practicing lawyer involves completing Practical Legal Training (PLT). This is a crucial step that law graduates are required to undertake, and it is designed to impart practical skills that will enable them to thrive in the legal profession. While there are several providers of PLT across the country, the Curtin Law School PLT stands out due to its unique focus on working with interpreters.
Interpreters play a critical role in the justice system, enabling those with limited English proficiency access to the justice system. Recognising the importance of this aspect of legal practice, the Curtin Law School PLT curriculum emphasises the skills needed to work effectively with interpreters. Recently, the school’s Senior Lecturer, Dr. Rocco Loiacono, delivered a presentation to Curtin PLT students on working with interpreters with a focus on issues that arise in relation to interpreters being engaged in legal proceedings.
Dr. Loiacono’s presentation centered on the Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Australian Courts and Tribunals (Second Edition), which outlines the guidelines for engaging interpreters in legal settings. He highlighted the responsibility of legal practitioners to ensure that clients with limited English proficiency have access to interpreters, stressing the critical role that interpreters play in ensuring access to justice for all individuals.
The session was highly engaging, and students found it to be a valuable learning experience. By equipping Curtin Law School PLT students with the skills to work effectively with interpreters, the program is preparing them to be competent and compassionate legal practitioners who can serve diverse communities.
Dr Rocco Loiacono has kindly shared his presentation with our readers and can be viewed by clicking below:
Dr Rocco Loiacono is a senior lecturer in the Curtin University Law School, where he teaches in the Real Property Law and Advanced Legal Research units. Rocco is a NAATI Certified Translator (Italian>English) and served as national president of AUSIT, the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators, from 2017-2019. Rocco also has an interest in the role the law should play in defending fundamental rights and freedoms, and he has published on this subject as well.