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Interpreters and Translators


The Board may obtain the services of an interpreter services for all offices excluding Criminal Legal Aid. Approval for an interpreter at advice stage must be sought by way of submission for authority. Legal Services may refuse to pay for an interpreter that has been engaged without authority. Interpreter attendance forms must be completed in respect of both law centre and international protection clients.

The Board does not fund travelling expenses for interpreters, unless an interpreter is requested to travel a particular distance due to the lack of interpreters in a location, and in this case the cost of travelling must be authorised in advance by the Board. Interpreter services can also be provided over the phone.
If it emerges that an interpreter is required following the granting of a legal aid certificate, an amendment to the certificate should be sought rather than authority.

Authorisation for engaging interpreters in international protection cases is automatically granted.

Private Practitioners should make their bookings via email /phone contact. Invoices in respect of PP bookings (law centre clients) should be directed by the contractor to Legal Services Support. Invoices in respect of PP bookings (asylum clients) should be emailed to Interpretations@legalaidboard.ie (Smithfield Support Unit NBS) for approval, processing and onward transmission to Finance Unit for payment.


The Board may obtain the services of a translator to carry out the translation of documents.

Authority will normally be granted in respect of the following classes of documents:

  • Birth, Death, Marriage Certificates etc;
  • Military Records;
  • Passports and other Identity documents (usually National I.D. Cards; Employment I.Ds, student cards)
  • Medical Certificates;
  • Court Orders; and
  • Summonses.

As regards any other document that is considered necessary to support a client’s case, a brief description of the content of the document should be obtained from the client, and he or she should mark relevant passages for translation within the document. A caseworker/solicitor who is of the opinion that the contents justify translating the document should:-

  • consider whether the expenditure involved in obtaining a translation appears to be justified in the circumstances;
  • certify that in his/her opinion such a translation is necessary; and
  • provide reasons for this opinion.