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You might be able to get an interpreter for free if you’re going to a court or tribunal.

Your interpreter will normally be available only during the hearing. They might be able to take part in legal discussions before or after the hearing if the judge allows it.

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing

You’ll always be given an interpreter if you’re deaf or have difficulty hearing (‘hard of hearing’).

If you want to speak Welsh in court

You might be able to get an interpreter if you want to speak Welsh in a court in Wales.

Contact the court or tribunal dealing with your case to ask for an interpreter. You can get all forms and leaflets in Welsh. You can use Welsh to write or speak to anyone in a court in Wales.

If you can’t understand English

You might be able to get an interpreter if you can’t understand English. This will depend on:

  • what your case involves
  • the type of court or tribunal dealing with your case

You might be able to get a friend or family member to act as your interpreter. You must ask the judge for permission before the hearing - contact the court or tribunal dealing with your case.

Civil courts

You’ll be given an interpreter if your cases involves possession of property or land (eg you’re being evicted by your landlord) or committal (eg you’ve broken a court order and might go to prison). You might still be able to get an interpreter if it doesn’t, but only if all of the following apply:

  • you can’t afford to pay for an interpreter yourself
  • you don’t qualify for legal aid
  • you don’t have a friend or family member who the judge says can act as your interpreter

Family courts

You’ll be given an interpreter if your case involves children, domestic violence or forced marriage. You might still be able to get an interpreter if it doesn’t, but only if all of the following apply:

  • you can’t afford to pay for an interpreter yourself
  • you don’t qualify for legal aid
  • you don’t have a friend or family member who the judge says can act as your interpreter

Tribunals

For some tribunals, you’ll need to ask for an interpreter when you fill in your appeal form. Or you can contact your local tribunal office before your hearing to ask for an interpreter.

Criminal courts

You’ll be given an interpreter if you’re the defendant. You can contact the court where your case will be heard to check if an interpreter has been arranged.

You’ll need to ask the defence solicitor to find an interpreter for you if you’re a defence witness.

The prosecuting agency (eg the Crown Prosecution Service) will find an interpreter for you if you’re a prosecution witness. You must contact them before the hearing to ask for an interpreter.