Call for Bids: Biennial Conference in 2015 and 2017

Posted on the 29th Jul 2013 in the category Articles

The IAFL Executive Committee solicits proposals from members who wish to host the next biennial conference. We are particularly keen to receive proposals for the 2015 conference. We are also seeking preliminary proposals or inquiries about the 2017 meeting from members who may be keen to host but will not be ready for 2015. Proposals should be emailed by 15 December 2013 to Ed Finegan and Tim Grant (see the 'About us' link in the drop-down menu above). Inquiries meanwhile are welcome.

Please ensure that proposals address all of the points identified below:

1. Location Where will the meeting be held and at what kind of site? Ideally, the conference would take place on a university campus, but hotel-based proposals will also be considered. Attractiveness of the location (what to see and do in the area) is a bonus but not a key factor.

2. Accessibility How difficult is it for overseas delegates to obtain visas to visit the host country? How far is the location from a well-serviced international airport? How will members reach the meeting location? How far is the conference venue from the town center? What provisions will be made for delegates with disabilities? Do all the key conference venues have wheelchair access?

3. Accommodation Where will members stay during the meeting and how much will it cost? How far from the conference venue are the accommodations and how will delegates travel conveniently from the accommodation to the venue? IAFL would prefer a low-cost university accommodation to be available for the majority of delegates needing accommodation, but with an option of staying in a nearby hotel for those who prefer. If campus accommodation is not available, what facilities are conveniently located near the designated hotels?

4. Fee What do you anticipate that the fee will be for IAFL members and non-members? What will be covered and not covered? Will there be a combined fee plus university accommodation rate?

5. Organizing Team Who will be responsible for organizing the meeting? What previous experience does the local committee have in organizing conferences? If they lack experience in organizing large events, what other experience of theirs will make success likely? How much of the organization can be contracted out (e.g. to university accommodation and catering services)?

6. Financial Support Beyond the organizers, will there be additional support from an academic department, school, or faculty? Is there likely to be financial support from a university or government source? Will you be insured in one way or another against loss (e.g., by your department or university setting aside emergency funds for this purpose)? What do you intend to do with any profit made?

7. Facilities What kinds of facilities are available both in the conference rooms and more generally on site? At a minimum IAFL would expect:
a) sufficiently-sized and equipped rooms with adequate IT and AV equipment;
b) an on-call IT team (including weekends) to sort out the inevitable computer and AV mishaps that occur;
c) sufficient and adequate catering facilities;
d) access to the Internet for delegates at the conference venue; translation facilities if papers will be accepted for presentation in languages other than English. What other facilities are available on campus, in the student residences or on site more generally?

8. Dates The preferred conference dates would fall during the first half of July. If you propose different dates, please address the extent to which delegates from various parts of the world will be able to attend during those dates. You will need, for example, to check on teaching term dates in the US, Europe and Australasia.

We look forward to receiving well conceived and exciting proposals within the next few months.


A successful conference

Posted on the 12th Jul 2013 in the category Articles

Congratulations to all involved in the program planning/implementation, at the UNAM and from the IAFL Executive Committee and others.

While the conference was smaller than perhaps expected, the size of the conference allowed for excellent opportunities for interacting. In some ways, maybe a better context for communication than larger conferences.

The UNAM campus is a beautiful space. The conference was held in the Engineering Tower. Nearby are the 1968 Olympic Stadium and the university library covered with artwork. Vans were arranged for daily transport to and from the conference hotels.

The plenaries were very good. Two IAFL Executive Committee members, Ed Finegan and Peter Gray, made excellent presentations. Plus, the three others, from Mexico, were excellent--and VERY informative for those of us not familiar with the Mexican legal system, legal language issues and the ethnic/ linguistic minorities. One of the plenary speakers was a minister from the Mexican Supreme Court. He is working with various programs (at UNAM) to develop forensic science programs, including with the linguistics program.

All plenaries had simultaneous interpreting English-Spanish and Spanish.- English. All presenters had time to answer questions.

The last day colloquium was excellent looking at how our community needs to work across disciplines. I sensed our community is maturing significantly and is moving forward.

The bus ride across the city during rush hour traffic to the conference dinner site--while looooong, was made more interesting with a tour guide--allowing those of us who hadn't gotten out to see notable sites--a chance to see some of them.

For those who went on the optional tour of the Supreme Court--this was perhaps the most memorable part of the conference. The website shows the main chamber of the court. (SCJN = Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación).

Note that the discussions among the justices in the main court room are regularly televised live when in session. The role of the SCJN is to provide "Amparo" (protection).

The artwork perhaps had the greatest impact on us, especially the murals in an open three-storey area. We boarded the bus still stunned/reflective. The murals show the seven crimes by the government/law enforcement! Follow this link .

Thanks to all involved in making the conference a success.

Margaret van Naerssen


Work on new voting mechanism - message from IAFL President

Posted on the 11th Jul 2013 in the category Articles

As IAFL members understand, the Association's constitution requires "a meeting of the membership at least once every two years ... normally ... in conjunction with a conference of the Association" and specifies that "The election of officers must also take place at [that] meeting." In response to concerns expressed by IAFL members, the 2011-2013 executive committee agreed to establish a special committee to consider revising the policy for executive committee election procedures, and the role and structural constitution of the special committee was discussed with those who attended the general meeting of the membership in Mexico City. The previous and current executive committees recognize the desirability of an involved membership, and the goal is to create a voting mechanism that will enable all members to play an active role. 

Following the successful model established for the Association's Code of Practice, a committee comprising members of the association who are not IAFL officers, along with one ordinary member of the executive committee, will make recommendations prior to the next general meeting.   

I am happy to report that Larry Solan, an IAFL past president, has agreed to chair the special committee, and retired Justice Peter Gray has agreed to serve on it. Other IAFL members will be identified by these two members and asked to join the committee and make recommendations. Once the recommendations are vetted by the executive committee, all current members of the association will have an opportunity to vote on the recommended procedures. The aim is to conduct the next elections following a scheme that all members will have had an opportunity to vote on and that will allow all members to vote.  

Ed Finegan

IAFL President 


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