7 Right to use New Zealand Sign Language in legal proceedings


In any legal proceedings, any of the following persons may use New Zealand Sign Language, where the person’s first or preferred language is NZSL:


any member of the court, tribunal, or body before which the proceedings are being conducted:


any party or witness:


any counsel or other person representing a party in the proceedings:


any other person with leave of the presiding officer.


The right conferred by subsection (1) to use NZSL does not—


entitle any person referred to in that subsection to insist that any person who is not an interpreter for the purposes of the proceedings address or answer him or her in NZSL; or


entitle any such person other than the presiding officer to require that the proceedings or any part of them be recorded in NZSL.


Where the presiding officer in any legal proceedings is aware that any person entitled under subsection (1) to use NZSL in those proceedings intends to do so, the presiding officer must ensure that a competent interpreter is available.


Where, in any proceedings, any question arises as to the accuracy of any interpretation or translation from NZSL into spoken or written language or from spoken or written language into NZSL, the question must be determined by the presiding officer in such manner as the presiding officer thinks fit.


Regulations made under this Act and rules of court or other appropriate rules of procedure made under any enactment may require any person intending to use NZSL in any legal proceedings to give reasonable notice of that intention, and generally regulate the procedure to be followed where NZSL is, or is to be, used in such proceedings.


Any such regulations or rules of court or other appropriate rules of procedure may make failure to give the required notice a relevant consideration in relation to an award of costs, but no person may be denied the right to use NZSL in any legal proceedings because of any such failure.

Compare: 1987 No 176 s 4