A “hugely important watershed decision in the context of international maritime law” was how one of the partners of international law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan, described this maritime case in Australia’s Federal Court in 2012. It was the first time a court – anywhere in the world – had handed down a judgment dealing with what constituted an “incident” for the purposes of limiting a ship owner’s liability under the Convention.
A Chinese container ship ruptured a gas pipeline in Port Phillip Bay in 2008 and the case ended up in court as the pipeline and its customers sued the ship owners for multi-million dollar losses.
Many parties filled the court room in this complex web of cases and with a Chinese ship and crew, one of the most important considerations was for translators and interpreters. A world-wide search for the right Mandarin interpreter led to our MD and Chief Interpreter, Charles Qin, being contracted.
Charles led the Chin team in preparing certified translations of vital evidence such as technical reports, log books, transcripts of recordings, crew qualifications, finances, ship drawings, even weather reports. Interpreting for the many witnesses required days of preparation to learn another tricky Chinese Language – ‘sailor speak’!
While maritime law cases like this don’t crop up every year, the important and exacting work in legal translation, court interpreting and preparation goes on. We can’t emphasise it more strongly to make sure you secure the best language team you can to help your case with accurate interpreting and translating and other support in understanding and classifying the many documents and witnesses likely to be required. Chin’s team approach removes the uncertainty and restores confidence.