Tunisia conference reminder

Posted on the 14th August 2014 in the category Articles

A reminder that abstracts for the regional IAFL conference in Sfax, Tunisia are due in on 31 August. For details please see the information on the conference webpage.


IAFL Biennial Conference 2015

Posted on the 7th March 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 January 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


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