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First Call for Abstracts: International Association of Forensic Linguists – Conference 2019

Abstracts are now invited for IAFL 2019 – submit here.

The 14th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Forensic Linguists will be held from 1st – 5th July, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia at RMIT University.

The IAFL 2019 Conference theme is Accessing justice through language.

The conference website is

Organising Committee

Georgina Heydon (IAFL President), RMIT University

Ikuko Nakane, University of Melbourne

Peter Gray, Federal Court (ret.)

Greg Reinhardt, Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration


Contact email:

First Call for Abstracts

The First Call for Abstracts closes on 1st November, 2018. This call is mainly intended for those delegates requiring early confirmation to finalise their travel arrangements, but anyone is welcome to submit their abstract early.  A Second Call for Abstracts will close on 15th February, 2019.

Abstracts must be submitted via ConfTool


Some basic guidelines are provided below and specific instructions for using the submission tool can be found on the submission website. If you are submitting an abstract you will be required to create a user account. You can create a user account first and submit your abstract at another time.


Submission Deadline: 1st November, 2018, 4:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC +11 hours).



Abstracts are invited for individual papers, and posters. The deadline for early abstract submission is 4:00 p.m. on 1st November, 2018 (AEDT; UTC+11). If you need to renew your membership or create a guest account, you should do so at least 3 hours before the submissions deadline, to allow for changes to take place in the system. Requests relating to membership or guest accounts later than this may mean that you are unable to submit your abstract by the deadline.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words are invited which address one or more of the conference sub-themes:

Language and the legal process Courtroom, police and prison discourse; Investigative interviewing; Power and the law; The comprehensibility of legal documents; Interviews with vulnerable witnesses in the legal system.

Linguistic evidence and investigative linguistics: Forensic phonetics and speaker identification; Forensic stylistics; Linguistic determination of nationality; Authorship analysis; Plagiarism; Trademark disputes; Consumer product warnings; Deception and fraud.

Interpreting and translating in legal contexts: Multilingual matters in legal contexts; Linguistic disadvantage before the law; Language minorities and the legal system.

The language of the law: The history of legal languages;  Legal genres; Critical approaches to legal languages; Language policy and language rights; Offensive language.

Education and training: The role of literacy in legal languages; Language education for law professionals; School-based program for language awareness.

Other Related Sub-Themes: Computational Forensic Linguistics; Cybercrime; Online identities and interactive multimodal communication; Multimodal approaches to forensic linguistics; Intercultural mediation; Comparative law.


INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Papers are formal presentations on a contribution of original knowledge by one or more authors within a thirty-minute period, including 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Paper presentations will be organized into sessions of 2-3 papers grouped by strand or theme.

All presenters must present their work during their scheduled time. No time changes will be allowed even if the previous presenter is absent or has finished early. Each presenter must make sure that they respect their allocated time in order to allow for the other presenters in the session to set up their equipment and start on time.


POSTERS: Poster presentations are intended for face-to-face discussions of research. Posters are especially effective for information that can be presented visually (e.g. charts, graphs, tables, diagrams). Prospective presenters are encouraged to consider posters, because of the opportunity they provide for extended discussion with other researchers. There will be a designated poster session scheduled, and presenters are required to be present at their posters during the session. For the rest of the period, presenters may choose to stay at their poster board at their discretion.



2019 IAFL biennial conference – July 1-5, 2019

Save the date! We are delighted to announce that our next biennial conference will take place in Melbourne, Australia, July 1-5, 2019. We look forward to your participation in what we know will be a fantastic conference. Check back here later this year for a Call for Papers and links for information on travel, accommodations, and scheduling.

Janet Ainsworth, Vice-President, International Association of Forensic Linguists

Latest News

IAFL Call for Bids

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 2019 conference. We are also seeking preliminary proposals or inquiries about the 2021 meeting from members who may be keen to host but will not be ready for 2019. Proposals should be emailed by 31 December 2017 to Georgina Heydon and Isabel Picornell 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 centre? 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? What is the local geography like for the conference facilities themselves? We are particularly keen to understand distances between accommodation and conference facilities and also whether plenary sessions will be held close to or in the same building as parallel sessions. 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. Fees: What do you anticipate that the fee will be for IAFL members and non-members? Please note that the gap between the member and non-member registration fees must be at least as much as one year’s membership (applying the student rate as appropriate)? Fee structures will typically include discount for members and for students and this needs to be budgeted. You should also make clear 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; e) 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? Are facilities fully accessible for any disabled member?

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 a variety of countries.

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