Ben Grimes is a lawyer and linguist who specialises in communication issues in the criminal justice system and cross-cultural legal education. Ben worked as criminal lawyer with the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in the NT, including two years based in Nhulunbuy, East Arnhem Land. As a Community Legal Educator, Ben developed significant experience working with Law and Justice groups in remote communities. As the Program Manager for the NT Government Aboriginal Interpreter Service, Ben managed 50 full-time staff and 350 casual interpreters across the NT, and developed the Bush Court interpreting system used in the NT and legal training for Aboriginal interpreters.
Ben has been a major contributor to numerous protocols and policy documents such as the NT Law Society Indigenous Protocols (2nd ed), the NT Supreme Court Interpreter Protocols, the NT Local Court Interpreter Protocols and the Police General Orders on Interpreters and Translators. Ben is a signatory to the 'Communication of Rights' international working group that promotes best practice in communication of legal rights with people who speak English as a second language, and Ben managed the NT Government project to interpret and record suspects' rights into 18 Aboriginal languages for use by NT Police. Ben is also the Managing Editor of the Plain English Legal Dictionary (NT Criminal Law). Ben also has an MA in Applied Linguists, and as part of his MA conducted experimental research to identify differences in how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal witnesses tell the story of the same event, and the legal implications of these linguistic differences. Ben speaks a number of languages and is also heavily involved in bilingual education and language advocacy in West Timor, Indonesia. Ben is a lecturer at the Charles Darwin University School of law, where he teaches units including Criminal Law, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, comparative law and manages the Indigenous Pre-law Program.