Standard Terms and Conditions

Overview: The Standard Terms and Conditions for Interpreter Services in Courts and Tribunals (Standard Terms) apply to every booking the Ministry makes, whether they’re made in writing or by phone. We make minor updates to our Standard Terms from time to time.

Note: The Standard Terms DON’T apply to bookings made on behalf of the Immigration & Protection Tribunal.

Ministry of Justice Standard Terms and Conditions for Interpreter Services in Courts and Tribunals (Standard Terms)

1        Interpretation and definitions

1.1     These terms, as amended from time to time, apply to any agreement for Interpreter Services between:

   (a)      The Ministry of Justice (We or Ministry) and

   (b)      You, being the party (whether an individual or organisation) who has agreed to provide Interpreter Services.

1.2     For the purposes of these Standard Terms:

Agreement means the agreement for Interpreter Services reached between the Ministry and You, based on the details set out in any connected Booking Confirmation, and which incorporates these Standard Terms.

Booking Confirmation means a notice in writing from the Ministry confirming Your engagement to provide Interpreter Services, which sets out the identity of the appointed Interpreter, the details of the Event(s) for which the Interpreter will be required, the Charges payable to You for the Interpreter Services and any other relevant matters.

Charges means the Fees and Expenses payable to You under these Standard Terms for Interpreter Services.

Confidential Information means any information that is disclosed by the Ministry to You or the Interpreter, as well as any information disclosed by a Recipient to You or the Interpreter, in the course of the Interpreter Services.

Court means a court or tribunal, and includes a judge, registrar or tribunal member.

Criminal Record Check means a criminal record check obtained from the Ministry, which covers criminal and traffic convictions. Information on how to obtain a criminal record check is available at

Expenses means any out-of-pocket costs or disbursements actually incurred by You in the delivery of the Interpreter Services.

Event means the individual court event (such as a hearing) for which Interpreter Services are required. Events may be at court (in person), or via video conference or teleconference (remotely). A single Booking Confirmation may identify multiple Events at which Interpreter Services are to be provided.

Fees means the amount payable for the Interpreter Services, comprised of an hourly or daily rate for the Interpreter as well as any other agreed fees in connection with the provision of such services.

Interpreter means the individual booked by the Ministry to attend the Event and deliver the Interpreter Services for that Event (whether You or a person provided by You), and includes any replacement Interpreter provided by You (subject to the prior approval of the Ministry).

Interpreter Services means the interpreter services provided by You for an Event.

Guidelines means the Ministry of Justice guidelines for interpreters available at:

Recipient means a person whose communications are being interpreted from one language to English (or another language accepted by the court) by an Interpreter for an Event.

Request means a written request made by the Ministry for Interpreter Services that seeks details from You regarding, for example, your availability and fees.  Note: A Request is solely for the information of the Ministry and is not an offer of contract or promise of future work.

Supplier Terms means any of Your standard terms and conditions that purport to, or could be interpreted to, add to or amend the agreement for Interpreter Services between You and the Ministry.

Working Day, in relation to a notice period, means a full day, excluding:

    i.     Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Labour Day, the Sovereign’s Birthday and Waitangi Day;

   ii.     a day in the period commencing 25 December in any year and ending with 15 January in the following year;

   iii.     if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday; and

   iv.     the day observed as the anniversary of the province in which the relevant Event is to be held; and

   v.     excluding the day when notice is given.

2         Booking process

2.1      When seeking Interpreter Services for an Event, the Ministry may send You a Request.  The Ministry will specify in the Request the expected duration of the Event, or of each Event if there is more than one (Expected Duration), and the date and time at which any Event is expected to start (Start Date). Both the Expected Duration and Start Date are subject to change at any time before or during the relevant Event.

2.2      The parties will seek to agree the Fees and any Expenses payable for Interpreter Services.  The Fees proposed by You will be no more (but may be less) than the fees and rates referred to in Your Supplier Terms. 

2.3      If You and the Ministry reach agreement on the services to be provided, including the Interpreter to provide the Interpreter Services, the Charges to be paid to You and all other relevant details, the Ministry may:

   (a)     send You a Booking Confirmation; and if so

   (b)     endeavour to give You reasonable notice of any changes relevant to the provision of the Interpreter Services (for example, the location where an Event is to take place, its Start Date or the Expected Duration);

for the avoidance of doubt, the Booking Confirmation records the Ministry’s agreement to the Interpreter Services being provided and the Ministry is not bound to engage or pay for an Interpreter where no Booking Confirmation has been given.

2.4      The Ministry will, unless otherwise specified in the Booking Confirmation, make any travel and accommodation arrangements required for the Interpreter to attend the Event.

2.5      Except where explicitly confirmed in writing by the Ministry in the Booking Confirmation, Your Supplier Terms (in whole or in part) do not apply and do not form part of any contract for Interpreter Services.

3        Interpreters

3.1     You will ensure that the Interpreter is punctual and appropriately skilled, experienced and qualified to provide appropriate Interpreter Services for the Event(s).

3.2     The Interpreter must comply with the Guidelines and any other relevant Ministry interpreter policies and guidelines at all times in the course of the Interpreter Services being provided.

3.3     If the Interpreter booked for the Event(s) is unavailable to provide the required Interpreter Services for any reason (including because of a conflict of interest) for the full duration of the Event(s), You will give the Ministry notice in writing immediately and will, if requested by the Ministry, provide a suitable replacement Interpreter if available.  

3.4     If You are asked by the Ministry to provide Interpreter Services for a case or proceeding in which You have already provided Interpreter Services for an earlier Event, You will, unless otherwise agreed with the Ministry, provide the same Interpreter for the new Event to ensure continuity of service.

3.5     You will provide the Ministry with updated contact details for the Interpreter if requested at any time.

3.6     You will ensure that any Interpreter providing Interpreter Services has undergone a Criminal Record Check to ensure they do not have any criminal convictions.  Subject to any restrictions under law, to the extent You become aware (through checks or otherwise) that any Interpreter has criminal convictions, You must immediately notify the Ministry. You will make the results of Criminal Record Checks available to the Ministry, and arrange an updated Criminal Record Check for any Interpreter, as and when requested. 

4        Cancellation and Events that do not proceed as expected

4.1     The Ministry, in its absolute discretion and at any time before or during an Event, may terminate the Agreement (in respect of a single Event or all Events) immediately by giving You notice in writing.

4.2     Where We give You two Working Days’ or more notice of termination before the Start Date of an Event, We will reimburse any reasonable non-refundable Expenses incurred by You to provide the Interpreter Services for that Event prior to the date of termination (subject to clause 6 below). 

4.3     Subject to clause 5 and Your compliance with all other obligations under this Agreement, where We give You less than two Working Days’ notice of termination before the Start Date of an Event, or We give You notice of termination during an Event, We will:

   (a)     pay the Charges incurred up to the date of termination; and

   (b)     pay You an additional amount based on the agreed hourly or daily rates for the Interpreter up to an additional five days or the number of days or hours remaining in the relevant Event (determined by reference to the Expected Duration) after the date of termination, whichever is less.

By way of example:

Notice of cancellation given by the Ministry at any time on Wednesday (e.g. 1st July 2020) will be two Working Days before an Event starting at any time on the following Monday (6th July 2020), assuming there are no intervening public holidays. If the Event were instead to start at any time on Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd July 2020), less than two Working Days’ notice would have been given and compensation under clause 4.3 may be payable.

4.4     We may reschedule the time or date of an Event by notice to You at any time, with the following effect:

   (a)     If You cannot provide the Interpreter Services for the rescheduled time, or do not confirm your availability by the required deadline, the Agreement will be deemed to be terminated by the Ministry effective from the notice of the rescheduling;

   (b)     If You agree to provide the Interpreter Services at the rescheduled time, and we had given You two Working Days or more notice of the rescheduling, You will be compensated in accordance with clause 4.2 above as if the rescheduling were a termination by the Ministry;

   (c)     If You do agree to provide the Interpreter Services at the rescheduled time, and we had given You less than two Working Days’ notice of the rescheduling before the original Start Date of the Event:

     i.     you will be compensated in accordance with clause 4.3 above as if the rescheduling were a termination by the Ministry, however,

     ii.     no compensation will be paid for any days or hours required for the rescheduled Interpreter Services which were already booked prior to the rescheduling (i.e. to the extent the cancelled Event and rescheduled Event overlap).  

4.5     In the event of cancellation or rescheduling of an Event, or termination of the Agreement, the Ministry will be liable to pay no more than the amounts described in this clause 4.

4.6     If an Event extends beyond its Expected Duration, the Ministry will pay:

   (a)     for the additional Interpreter Services at the rates agreed in the Booking Confirmation for the additional days or hours the Interpreter Servies are required; and

   (b)     any additional Expenses agreed in writing, provided such Expenses are charged on a similar basis to those agreed in the Booking Confirmation.

5        Remedies for breach

1.1     If:

    (a)     it appears to the Ministry there is a conflict of interest; or

    (b)     the Court is dissatisfied with the Interpreter Services; or

    (c)     You or the Interpreter otherwise breaches the Agreement,

the Ministry may, at its absolute discretion, without prejudicing any other rights or remedies available to it, either:

(i)     require You to provide a suitable replacement Interpreter immediately on request by the Ministry; or

(ii)     terminate the Agreement immediately on notice in writing, in which case no more than the Charges incurred up until the date of termination shall be payable.

6        Expenses

6.1     The Ministry will be responsible for arranging all flights and accommodation for Interpreters unless otherwise specified in the Booking Confirmation.

6.2     The Ministry will reimburse You for reasonable Expenses incurred by You in providing the Interpreter Services, provided:

   (a)     the Expenses are agreed and referred to in the Booking Confirmation; and

   (b)     the Expenses are charged at reasonable cost, and are evidenced by GST receipts if required by the Ministry.

7        Confidentiality

7.1     You confirm that You have adequate security measures to safeguard all Confidential Information from unauthorised access or use by third parties, and that You will not use or disclose any Confidential Information to any person or organisation other than:

   (a)     to the extent that use or disclosure is necessary for the purposes of providing the Interpreter Services;

   (b)     if the Ministry gives prior written approval to the use or disclosure;

   (c)     if the use or disclosure is required by law; or

   (d)     if the information has already become public, other than through a breach of the obligation of confidentiality by the person who made it public.

7.2     You must ensure that any of Your personnel to whom You provide Confidential Information as part of the services, including (but not limited to) the Interpreter, understand and are bound by the same or equivalent obligations of confidentiality in respect of the information.

7.3     For the avoidance of doubt, it is essential that You and the Interpreter comply with all court suppression orders and other requirements of law relating to the confidentiality of court proceedings in which the Interpreter takes part.