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 adopted

Posted on the 9th Jan 2014 in the category Articles

The IAFL Executive Committee is pleased to announce the Code of Practice proposed for adoption on 7 May 2013 has been approved by IAFL Members' majority vote. Please click the link below to access the document.


IAFL Code of Practice

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