Communication Matters: new language varieties and new interactions in legal contexts

Samantha Disbray

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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This exploratory research sought to identify important issues in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural interactions in legal contexts in the Northern Territory for further investigation. The research was funded by NT Law Society Public Purposes Trust. This research brief identifies two areas that would improve practice with further research.


Two key matters arose as significant:
- The needs of speakers of traditional languages are reasonably clear, in terms of provision of interpreter services and a range of new multimedia resources, however, the needs for speakers of new contact languages are not. The language situation in many sites in the NT is dynamic, with younger speakers adopting and adapting new language varieties. Research is required on the needs of speakers of contact languages in legal interactions.
- There are a range of new means of increasing the capacity of participants in legal settings (legal officers, professionals and clients), such as books, electronic resources, websites and outreach services. Research is needed to evaluate these resources and programs, to consider how to best maximise their reach and impact.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Specialist publicationResearch Briefs
PublisherCharles Darwin University, The Northern Institute
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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