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FuzzyLaw - laypersons' understandings of legal langauge

Tim Grant's insight:

This is a great new resource launched by Frances Rock, a member of the forensic linguistics group at Cardiff University.  

 

It provides a series of legal terms along with lay-persons' understandings of those terms. We are promised professional responses to those lay explanations and so as the site develops it should become increasingly intersting and useful.  

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AnneMarie Cunningham's curator insight, April 27, 2013 6:43 PM

Another interesting project via Tim Grant. This one is based in Cardiff University and gets members of the public to explain legal terms in their own words. It's designed to help interpreters and others understand lay understandings of legal terms. 

Again it strikes me that maybe we need something like this in medicine. Would it be helpful to establish how people understand hba1c/obesity/OGD/diabetes/PSA etc?

 

Language, society and law
Forensic linguistics, applied linguistics and wider issues of language and society.
Curated by Tim Grant
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Jim Fitzgerald analyses a murder case letter on the US TV show Crimetime

The Jodi Arias trial and letters and email she sent to Travis Alexander and his family are analyzed with Forensic Linguistics Expert and Former FBI Profiler ...
Tim Grant's insight:

Jim doing his stuff getting airtime on Crimetime.

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Anything you write can and will be used against you. Talk: 21st Jan - Skeptics in the Pub, Coventry

Anything you write can and will be used against you. Talk: 21st Jan - Skeptics in the Pub, Coventry | Language, society and law | Scoop.it

Tim Grant will discuss the potential and limits of forensic linguistics to provide evidence to the Courts. He will look at how one forensic linguist identified the wrong woman as sex-blogger Belle de Jour and how another correctly identified JK Rowling as the author of "The Casual Vacancy." He will also explain why both analyses would provide bad evidence for the Courts. Using some case examples he will also discuss what sort of linguistic evidence could and should be admitted in Court and whether forensic linguistics is in any sense a forensic science.

Tim Grant's insight:

Here's a talk I'm giving on the 21st January, in a Pub in Coventry - if you're local do come along....  

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Dominic Watt's curator insight, January 9, 8:05 AM

This would be well worth attending if you're within striking distance of the West Midlands...

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LSS Research Seminar - Tim Grant Assuming identities online – tracking and tracing the multiple linguistic identities of online paedophiles

LSS Research Seminar - Tim Grant Assuming identities online – tracking and tracing the multiple linguistic identities of online paedophiles | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
10 Dec Prof Tim Grant
Tim Grant's insight:

If you're fairly local to Aston and available this week - this is a public seminar series and all are welcome.

 

The seminar is Weds (10th December) Room: MB257, Time: 4.30-5.30.


 

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Canadian forensic voice comparison controversy

National Newswatch is Canada's Balanced News Aggregator
Tim Grant's insight:

I've not too much time to consider this just now but it is possible of course that Morrison's criticisms are valid and that  Primeau came up with the correct answer...

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Amazon tradmark case - "Kindle" vs "Kindle entertainment"

Amazon tradmark case - "Kindle" vs "Kindle entertainment" | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Tim Grant's insight:

Report of a trademark fight with Kindle entertainment - a UK TV company who's brand was registered two years before Amazon's ebook reader appeared on the UK market.  And there was of course no clash before Amazon wanted to deliver film and TV  content, rather than books, by applying the Kindle brand to its tablet computers.

 

As commented here before though - the law requires  trademarks to be aggressively defended otherwise a trademark can suffer trademark death through neglect.  By defending their mark in taking cases like these Amazon are ensuring it as value (however unfair this is on the recipient of the lawsuit).

 

HT Malcolm Coulthard

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US Supreme Court to tackle online threats vs free speech.

On December 1st, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Elonis v. United States, the first case about online threats to reach the highest level of judicial review. It’s a timely case,...
Tim Grant's insight:

Well this should be interesting...

 

First there's the general forensic linguistic interest on threatening language, online abuse etc...

 

... and then the issue at question is a definitional one - What conditions are necessary and sufficient for a felicitous threat? - Does a true threat require intent, which might be interpreted from context, or is a more objective interpretation possible?

 

 

 

[And I'm overly pleased for myself with the collocation 'felicitous threat' - if it seems an odd idea to you, read some speech act theory.]

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Call for papers - International Investigative Interviewing Research Group Conference, Melbourne June 2015

Call for papers - International Investigative Interviewing Research Group Conference, Melbourne June 2015 | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Tim Grant's insight:

IIIRG is a great organisation combining practitionersa and acamdic s in the field of investigative interviewing

 

For Europeans able to plan a world tour this is just two weeks before the IAFL conference in Guangzhou, China http://www.iafl12.org/IAFL12/front - (*starts counting holiday days and pocket money....*)

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Silence is not an option, judges told by Ipso chief Sir Alan Moses | The Times

Silence is not an option, judges told by Ipso chief Sir Alan Moses | The Times | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Judges must be prepared to justify their decisions on key legal issues and defend what they do, using language people can understand
Tim Grant's insight:

Thank you to Malcolm Coulthard for this one.

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Is ‘Illegal Pete’s’ an offensive name for a restaurant chain? Was it always?

Is ‘Illegal Pete’s’ an offensive name for a restaurant chain? Was it always? | Language, society and law | Scoop.it

The national debate over the use of the term “illegal immigrant” has fixed on an unlikely lightning rod: the liberal-minded, pro-immigrant owner of a Mexican restaurant chain in Colorado.

Tim Grant's insight:

An interesting article via Krzysz Kredens on the impact of language change and offensiveness.

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Kimberly Maddigan's comment, November 18, 2014 8:22 PM
I think that these days people have become extremely sensitive about certain words and certain things in general. I don't really see the issue with this restaurant's name. The name means something to this restaurant owner and it has for a very long time. He doesn't mean it to be a racial or slur, or for it to be demeaning. In my opinion people need to stop thinking that everything is about them, because it really isn't. This restaurant name has nothing to do with illegal immigrants, yet they are the ones who are offended. It amazes me. There was a situation one time while I was working, where a customer told my boss she was going to have me deported back to Asia. It didn't hurt my feelings whatsoever, in fact I laughed at her stupidity and ignorance. Life is too short, to let little things like that upset you. You know where you are from, and whether or not you are an immigrant. I don't think these people should let these words hurt them, let alone a restaurant name.
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IAFL12 - GDUFS China - Don't miss the abstracts deadline 30th November!

IAFL12 - GDUFS China - Don't miss the abstracts deadline 30th November! | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Tim Grant's insight:

For those who've not been before the IAFL biennial conference is the largest gathering of forensic linguists.  It occurs every other year and next year's gathering is in Guangzhou, China   July 6-9, 2015.  

 

Guangzhou is just North of Hong Kong and in itself will be a fascinating destination for westerners like me - and China of course has a thriving community of forensic linguists.

 

For most academics you have to present a paper to get funded and the submission deadline is close now!

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CFL event in collaboration with IAELI - with Vijay Bhatia on teaching Legal English.

CFL event in collaboration with IAELI - with Vijay Bhatia on teaching Legal English. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Tim Grant's insight:

We're particularly pleased to host Vijay Bhatia and collaborate with IAELI.  

 

Alongside Vijay there's also the opportunity to hear Krzysztof Kredens on his work on interpreter mediated police interviews and also yours truly on forensic linguistic casework.

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Tackling online trolls doesn’t need a bigger stick – just a more effective one

Tackling online trolls doesn’t need a bigger stick – just a more effective one | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
There is a vocal minority on social media that use the platforms to attack others, often with impunity. These cyber bullies or online trolls, use words and in some cases other means to cause harm – for…
Tim Grant's insight:

A lot of rubbish has been written recently on the need or otherwise for new laws or tougher sentences on online trolling. This is probably the most clear-sighted commentary I've read...

 

Also, passing new laws or tougher sentences doesn't make tech-savy anonymous trolls any easier to detect.  It seems to me that the problem with prosecutions is in fact a resource problem - it is possible to track down online offenders but in general it takes a lot of resource.  At the moment police have to prioitise - in which case there may be a public debate to be had about which crimes are properly investigated and which are not.  If you are not willing to have this debate and insist that all trolling is investiagted and prosecuted (as can be done under todays laws)  then,  it is going to cost a lot of money.

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IAFL Regional Conference in Tunisia

IAFL Regional Conference in Tunisia | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
IAFL 2014 Second Call for Papers The Theme of the Conference: “Forensic Linguistics/Language and the Law: Foundations & Future Avenues” This conference essentially aims at exploring the linkage...
Tim Grant's insight:

In addtion to the Swedish Conference the SFax conferene is also forthcoming -

 

Yhey've just announced an additional day training just before the conference featuring Nicci, Fleur, Ed, Patrick, Rui and Chris - and not a dodgy picture amongst them!

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Communication in Investigative and Legal Contexts - available for preorder now!

Communication in Forensic Contexts provides in–depth coverage of the complex area of communication in forensic situations. Drawing on expertise from forensic psychology, linguistics and law enforcement worldwide, the text bridges the gap between these fields in a definitive guide to best practice.

Offers best practice for understanding and improving communication in forensic contexts, including interviewing of victims, witnesses and suspects, discourse in courtrooms, and discourse via interpretersBridges the knowledge gaps between forensic psychology, forensic linguistics and law enforcement, with chapters written by teams bringing together expertise from each fieldPublished in collaboration with the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group, dedicated to furthering evidence–based practice and practice–based research amongst researchers and practitionersInternational, cross–disciplinary team includes contributors from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, and from psychology, linguistics and forensic practice

Tim Grant's insight:

Available this summer and already discounted on Amazon! - (also available through your independent bookshop!!)

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Taia Global Linguists Establish Nationality of Sony Hackers as Russian, not Korean | Taia Global, Inc.

Taia Global Linguists Establish Nationality of Sony Hackers as Russian, not Korean | Taia Global, Inc. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Identifying at-risk digital assets by mining the world's R&D
Tim Grant's insight:

Break's over and perhaps the big story over Christmas was Shlomo Argamon identifying a Russian language influence in the communiques from the Sony Hackers. 

 

Shlomo is a good friend of CFL and further analyses may be on there way - so watch this space!

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Slang in Court - Your honour, this is bare hard to understand.

Slang in Court - Your honour, this is bare hard to understand. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The four youths appeared at Snaresbrook Crown Court after being accused of driving around their neighbourhood in Dagenham, east London, firing at people's houses with an air rifle.
Tim Grant's insight:

Krzysztof Kredens just sent this one to me.

 

As regular readers will know I occasionally go to Court to provide slang translations.  From the media article I can't spot any errors but I wonder if it was the police or the lawyer or someone else who provided the 'translations'...

 

 

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IAFL12 Conference Guangzhou, China from 6 to 9 July 2015 - deadline extension.

International Association of Forensic Linguists

12th BIENNIAL CONFERENCE

 

SECOND CALL FOR PAPERS - EXTENSION

 

Deadline for abstract submission extended to 31 December 2014

 

The International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL) and the Organizing Committee of IAFL12 warmly invite submissions for the 12th biennial conference, 

to be hosted by Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS), Guangzhou, China from 6 to 9 July 2015. At the request of members, the deadline 

for abstract submission has been extended to 31 December 2014. 

 

Conference website: http://www.iafl12.org

Contact email: iafl12@gdufs.edu.cn

 

Travel Awards for Postgraduate Students: IAFL offers three travel awards for postgraduate students. Each award provides up to $1000 in 

support of travel and the waiving of registration fees. Information about the awards and the application process can be found under “Scholarships” at

the conference website.

 

The conference offers a forum for presentations on all aspects of forensic linguistics and language and law, including but not limited to the following:

 

Language and the Legal Process

    * Interviews with vulnerable witnesses in the legal system

    * Communicative challenges of vulnerable witnesses

    * Investigative interviewing

    * Language testing of asylum seekers

    * Police interviews and police language

    * Pragmatics of police interrogations

    * Bilingual courtrooms and second language issues within the legal system

    * Courtroom interpreting and translating

    * Courtroom interaction

    * Language addressed to judge and jury in common law courtrooms

 

Language as Evidence

    * Authorship analysis, attribution and plagiarism

    * Forensic phonetics

    * Forensic speaker identification and voice comparison

    * Deception and fraud

    * Forensic stylistics

    * Prison language

 

    * Forensic transcription

    * Trademark disputes

    * Consumer product warnings

 

Language, Crime and Law

    * The language of legislation

    * Comprehensibility, analysis, and interpretation of legal texts

    * Language and disadvantage before the law

    * Language minorities and the legal system

    * Language rights

    * Legal discourse and legal genres

    * Multilingual matters in legal contexts

    * Discourse analysis of legal resources

    * History of legal languages

 

Research and Teaching

    * Research into the practice, improvement, and ethics of expert testimony 

    * Presentation of linguistic evidence; the linguist as expert witness 

    * Legal interpreting and translation

    * The teaching/testing of forensic linguistics/language and law

    * Language education for law professionals

 

Computational Applications of Forensic Linguistics

    * Computer corpora of statements, confessions, suicide notes, police

    * Computational author identification or profiling

    * Multimodal approaches to forensic linguistics

 

INDIVIDUAL PAPERS are invited for presentations of 20 minutes, with a further 10 minutes allowed for questions and answers. POSTERS are invited for 

presentation during the poster session. Posters should be of A0 size (841mm x 1189mm) in portrait orientation. To submit an abstract for an individual paper or poster, 

please visit “Online Submission” at the conference website. COLLOQUIA, scheduled for 2-hour blocks, with a maximum of two linked sessions. Colloquium organisers should allocate time for presentations, discussion and audience response. Organisers serve as the liaison between participants and conference organisers. Proposals should be 300-350 words long, with an indication of participants and a brief description of their contribution. 

 

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Rate of speech evidence in Plebgate libel trial

Click here to edit the title

Tim Grant's insight:

Prof Peter French - of University of York has been in touch.  He  and Mark Liberman of Language Log  fame  both testified at the Plebgate trial.  Mark's account is here (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=16003 ) and contains plenty of background to the case.

 

My Scoopit link above goes to the judgement (paras 98-124 consider the phonetic evidence).

 

The point at issue was whether there was enough time for Andrew Mitchell to utter the phrase...

 

"Best you learn your fucking place – you don’t run this fucking government – you’re fucking plebs" 

 

... to a Police Officer at the gates of Downing Street.

 

Based on their analysis the judge concluded - 'Yes'

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Update on protecting vulnerable witnesses in criminal trials | The Times

Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Published November 24, 2014
Regina v Pooley
Regina v Lubemba
Before Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Warby
Judgment October 9, 2014...
Tim Grant's insight:

This new judgement is an update rather than any great change.

 

Of particular interest though is the emphasis placed on the judge's responsibility for "controlling questioning" and their "duty to intervene [..] if an advocate’s questioning was confusing or inappropriate".  Also significant is that the defence right to "put one's case" is contrstrined in the sense that it is "perfectly possible to ensure the jury [are] made aware of the defence case and of significant inconsistencies without intimidation or distressing a witness."


Thanks to Malcolm Coulthard for bringing our attention to this one.

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Google case over web abuse settled

Google case over web abuse settled | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The case of a businessman who wants to stop malicious web postings about him appearing in Google searches is settled at the High Court.
Tim Grant's insight:

Further development with this action trying to address online trolling, abuse, slander and forms of damage limitation.

 

Or is it censorship?

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Jack and Andrea in the news - Things That Make You Go “Um”

Jack and Andrea in the news - Things That Make You Go “Um” | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
How gender and place shape um and uh
Tim Grant's insight:

Jack Grieve's and Andrea Nini's twitter project is making the news again as Jack begins to show the power of his quantiative dialectology.  

 

Jack showed me a neat demo this morning which shows the forensic potential of this work - his latest analysis can take an anonymous letter and place it on the region of the map from which it is most likely to  originate.  

 

Exciting stuff - watch this space!

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Podcast - Radio Coffeehouse - Non-native understandings of judicial process.

Podcast - Radio Coffeehouse - Non-native understandings of judicial process. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
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Tim Grant's insight:

Episode 2 of this podcast has an interesting discussion on cross-linguistic comprehension of caution, interview and courtroom with American Linguist Aneta Pavlenko,

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"Facebook murder" trial delayed as defence looks for forensic linguists

"Facebook murder" trial delayed as defence looks for forensic linguists | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The January murder trial for three defendants in the so-called Facebook murders in Johnson County could be derailed if defense attorneys cannot locate a forensic linguistic expert by then to rebut a state expert.
Tim Grant's insight:

I reckon I can locate a forensic linguist -  do I get to visit Nashville? 

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Free CFL lecture: Jim Fitzgerald describes his case which led to the resignation of U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone

Event

Tim Grant's insight:

Title: On the Altar of Redoubt, a Coiled Dubiety…The linguistic nexus of Robert Browning (1869), H.L. Mencken (1951), and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone (2012)


Presenter: James R. Fitzgerald, M.S.; Supervisory Special Agent (Ret.), Federal Bureau of Investigation; The Academy Group, Inc., Manassas, Virginia, U.S.A.


Venue: MB155, The Main Building, Aston University, Birmingham. B4 7ET


Date: Friday, 31 Oct 2014 12.00pm


A case study will be presented in which over 550 separate inappropriate and questionably ethical pseudonymous blog postings in a New Orleans, Louisiana, online news site, and the ensuing forensic linguistic comparison of them to a single 12-page legal brief, resulted in the eventual forced resignation of two Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and the firing of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.


Jim Fitzgerald remains an active criminal profiler and forensic linguist with The Academy Group, Inc., even after retiring with 20 years in the FBI, as well as 11 years before that as a police officer/detective/sergeant. During his law enforcement career he successfully investigated numerous homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes, as well as matters of international notoriety to include the Unabom, Anthrax, and DC Sniper cases as profiler and/or linguist. Jim serves as adjunct professor at two U.S. universities, lectures at others both nationally and internationally, is one of two technical advisors for CBS-TV’s Criminal Minds, and is co-host and executive producer of A&E’s Killer Profile. Jim’s memoir of his early years, A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book I, was published in September 2014 by Infinity Publishing, Inc.

 

To attend please contact John Pollard: j.pollard2@aston.ac.uk 

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Another trial goes down because of inadequate interpretation (US jurisdiction)

Another trial goes down because of inadequate interpretation (US jurisdiction) | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
TROY >> A mistrial was declared due to inadequate translation in the trial of a Burmese immigrant who allegedly raped a woman he knew.
Tim Grant's insight:

There seesm to be a theme building from UK, Australia and now this US case.  

 

It's important to properly pay professional skilled interpreters - if you don't this can be the consequence.

 

Fortuanately in this case the result is a retrial not a miscarriage of justice.

 

HT Krzysztof Kredens

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