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Print version: Download the Language Service Policy(PDF, 183KB)
The Queensland Cultural Diversity Policy identifies a lack of English language proficiency as a significant barrier to economic independence and participation within the community.
In 2011, 423,838 Queenslanders identified that they spoke a language other than English at home. This represents more than nine per cent of the state’s population. Also, 62,404 Queenslanders (1.4 per cent of the state’s total population) identified that they do not speak English, or do not speak it well.
Language services aim to provide people who have difficulty communicating in English with the same access to effective and efficient services and programs as English-speaking Queenslanders.
Legal Aid Queensland has developed this language services policy in line with the Queensland Government’s Language Services Policy, to ensure clients who do not speak English well enough, or are not able to communicate adequately with our staff and service providers, are not disadvantaged in accessing quality legal services.
Legal Aid Queensland is committed to enhancing access to justice for disadvantaged people. Effective communication with clients is essential to achieving this goal.
Legal Aid Queensland recognises that a significant number of people in the community do not speak English well. Our clients and users of our services
should have fair access to legal services that are responsive to their needs and high quality.
This policy creates a framework for Legal Aid Queensland staff and preferred suppliers to deliver language services, where appropriate, to clients whose first language is not English. All staff and preferred suppliers must comply with the policy.
Under the policy we will:
For the purpose of this policy and its implementation, a client is any person receiving a service or trying to access a service from Legal Aid Queensland.
The policy aims to enhance access to interpreters and translated information to improve access to the full range of legal aid services for people requiring
The policy will be delivered by:
This policy supports Legal Aid Queensland’s obligations to provide legal services under the Legal Aid Queensland Act 1997 and our legal professional obligations under the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012. It also supports Legal Aid Queensland’s obligations under state and Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation.
There are considerable risks to an agency in not using qualified interpreters, particularly for obtaining informed consent in legal contexts. Failing to provide an interpreter could be potentially discriminatory and may result in a discrimination complaint under the legislation.
Legal Aid Queensland will implement this policy by:
Legal Aid Queensland will monitor and report on the implementation of this policy through the following measures:
does not speak
English or has
If a Legal Aid Queensland client is denied access to an interpreter they can make a complaint in the first instance to Legal Aid Queensland by downloading, printing and completing our Client feedback form and sending it to:
Legal Aid Queensland
GPO Box 2449
Brisbane QLD 4001
The form can also be delivered to any of our 14 offices around Queensland.
Complaints can also be made by calling 1300 65 11 88 (for the cost of a local call from a landline in Australia) and talking to one of our staff members or by writing to us at the above address.
If the situation is unable to be resolved, clients may wish to contact: