New Language and Law journal

Posted on the 1st Oct 2014 in the category Press Release

Press release from IAFL's Rui Sousa Silva:

We are delighted to announce that the first issue of the new international bilingual bi-annual journal ­Language and Law - Linguagem e Direito has just been published. The journal is electronic and available for everyone to download at http://tinyurl.com/linguagem-direito.

Because Language and Law has no printing costs it can be extremely flexible to individual authors' requirements: not only can it publish quickly all the high quality articles it receives, but it can also cope with long appendices, reproduce illustrations, photographs and tables in colour, and embed sound files and hyperlink as necessary.

We chose the title Language and Law ­ Linguagem e Direito to indicate that we welcome articles across the whole spectrum of the discipline and from both practitioners and academic researchers. Thus, for example, the first issue includes contributions from a chief of police, a public prosecutor, a professional translator, a professional interpreter and two expert witnesses, as well as from academic lawyers and linguists.

There is an article by Maria Lúcia Gomes and Denise Carneiro about Forensic Phonetics in Brazil, and one by Alison Johnson and David Wright about authorship analysis. Rui Sousa-Silva writes about plagiarism by translation; Liz Carter about deceptive responses in police interviews, Marcos Ribeiro and Cristiane Fuzer about honour crimes, Edilson Vitorelli about the language rights of indigenous Brazilians. Gail Stygall analyses incomprehensible Jury Instructions while Débora Figueiredo examines representations of the crime of rape in Brazilian legal texts.

Rui Sousa-Silva
Univeristy of Porto


IAFL Biennial Conference 2015

Posted on the 7th Mar 2014 in the category Press Release

I am delighted to announce, on behalf of the executive committee of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, that Guangdong University of Foreign Studies will host the Association’s 12th biennial conference on its beautiful campus at the foot of Baiyun Mountain from July 6th to July 9th, 2015.

GDUFS is located in Guangzhou City, accessible by train from Hong Kong, 75 miles to the south, and by dozens of direct flights daily from Beijing, Shanghai, and other major Asian, Australian, European, and North American hubs.

The IAFL executive committee is excited at the prospect of this 12th biennial meeting and confident that members will be amply rewarded for attendance at our first biennial conference in Asia.

Keep an eye peeled for announcements of the conference website, with details about conference themes and arrangements. Links will be available through IAFL’s website (IAFL.org ) as soon as the conference website goes live.

I look forward to seeing most IAFL members at this biennial conference at GDUFS in Guangzhou!

Ed Finegan
President, International Association of Forensic Linguists


Brazil conference round-up

Posted on the 22nd Jan 2014 in the category Press Release

First and foremost, congratulations to all involved in organising the first international conference to be jointly sponsored by the newly formed Association for Language and Law for Portuguese Speakers (ALIDI) and the IAFL. Ably wrangled by Malcolm Coulthard and his team of "Blackshirts", Language and the Law – Bridging the Gaps took place in Florianópolis, Brazil, in December 2013 at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, and offered three full days of parallel programming in English and Portuguese, the two official languages of the conference.

The sunshine and tropical showers of the southern hemisphere’s late spring were a welcome relief to visitors from colder climes, especially those whose journeys were hampered and delayed by snow in the US. Florianópolis itself is as beautiful as advertised, offering places of interest for all tastes, from windswept beaches to colonial architecture and an 18th-century public market selling food and local handicrafts under the shade of a hundred-year-old fig tree.

The two plenary speakers gave excellent presentations. At the opening ceremony, Dr Ricardo Molina, Technical Director of IPESIT (Instituto de Pesquisa em Som, Imagem e Texto) spoke about the discipline of forensic phonetics. Dr Larry Solan, Don Forchelli Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, closed the conference with an entertaining and thought-provoking discussion of the effect of multilingualism on morality in legislation.

The conference’s theme of ‘Bridging the Gaps’ was reflected on many levels and offered a fertile ground for exploring the interdisciplinary nature of Forensic Linguistics. Attendees included representatives from a varied range of disciplines and professions, including academia, law and law enforcement, and the Brazilian delegates hosted colleagues from across the globe – from Chile, Spain, Portugal, the UK, the US, Poland, Finland, Qatar, and as far afield as South Africa, Hong Kong and Japan. As diverse as the nations represented were the subjects discussed: a comparison of the police caution in England and Wales, the US and Brazil; monolingual and multilingual authorship analysis/attribution in the UK, US and South Africa; forensic transcription practices in Spain; the increasing contributions of linguistic experts in Chilean legal and judicial contexts; the unique challenges of court interpreting in Poland, Finland, Hong Kong and Japan; the detection of academic and multilingual plagiarism in Brazil and Portugal; the language of police reports and interviews and the treatment of vulnerable witnesses in Brazil and the UK; forensic phonetics; the interpretation of legislative intent; legal translation; and the particular difficulties faced by pro se/pro per defendants in the UK and the US.

In conclusion, heartfelt thanks to everyone whose heroic efforts made this inaugural conference so enjoyable and successful. I look forward to seeing you all again at the second iteration in due course, to which the Organising Committee will doubtless turn their attention once they’ve had a much-deserved long lie down in a darkened room to recover from this one…

Lisa Rogers, Hofstra University


Code of Practice draft now online

Posted on the 7th May 2013 in the category Press Release

The IAFL Executive Committee is pleased to make available to members a draft Code of Practice that provides "principles of ethical conduct (...) intended to guide those members of the International Association of Forensic Linguists who engage in forensic linguistic research and legal consulting and testimony."

This Code of Practice was produced by a Drafting Committee through the examination of Codes of Practice used by comparable organisations, and careful consideration of the relevant issues for forensic linguists engaged in this work. For this work the IAFL EC is grateful to the members of that Committee, being Ron Butters, Tim Grant, Le Cheng and Georgina Heydon. In addition, Ed Finegan and Peter Gray of the Executive Committee have also offered very wise and helpful advice. We also acknowledge the work put in by Krzysztof Kredens to make this draft available to members through the IAFL website.

Finally, the IAFL EC wishes to note the extensive contribution made by our dear friend and IAFL President, Maite Terrell, to both the content and the development of this Code of Practice. We trust that the final document will stand as a testament to the dedication with which Maite undertook her role as President even in her most difficult days.

The Executive Committee welcomes feedback on this document and asks members to forward any comments to the Code of Practice Drafting Subcommittee via Ron Butters (ronbutters@mac.com). Feedback e-mails should contain the note "CODE OF PRACTICE FEEDBACK" subject line. Individual comments will be taken under careful consideration by the EC in preparation for a draft that will be voted upon by the membership.

Please click the link below to download the document (pdf file).


Code of Practice draft now online

IAFL Biennial Conference Programme

Posted on the 2nd Apr 2013 in the category Press Release

IAFL11 Provisional Programme has been published. It can be accessed from the conference website. The conference will take place from 24th to 27th June at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.


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