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IAFL launch new website (and draft Code of Practice)

IAFL launch new website (and draft Code of Practice) | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The purpose of the IAFL is to improve the administration of the legal systems throughout the world by means of a better understanding of the interaction between language and the law.
Tim Grant's insight:

The Internationl Association of Forensic Linguists have today launched their new website - which looks slick and professional to me!

 

More importantant than the looks they are also launching a consultation on a Code of Practice.  See http://www.iafl.org/news.php

 

I've been on the drafting committee for this so it's good to see it out there and I'm interested in what responses we'll get.  Please don't send any response to me though; email Ron Butters (ronbutters@mac.com) using the Subject line "CODE OF PRACTICE FEEDBACK".

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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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Workshop in Forensic Linguistics: International perspectives - Linnéuniversitetet - Lnu.se

Workshop in Forensic Linguistics: International perspectives - Linnéuniversitetet - Lnu.se | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Välkommen till en endagskonferens i rättslingvistik!
Tim Grant's insight:

Forensic Lingusitics Conference at Linneaus Univerity, Vaxjo, Sweden.

 

Content warning:

The webpage linked to contains an alarming picture of me looking young, drunk and wearing a bow tie!  

 

(Thanks for that Sofia!)

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New bilingual forensic linguistics journal: Language and Law - Linguagem e Direito.

New bilingual forensic linguistics journal: Language and Law - Linguagem e Direito. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Tim Grant's insight:

This new bilingual English-Portuguese forensic lingusitic journal is out and available free to download.

 

It is the brain child of Malcolm Coulthard my ex-colleague (and previously  PhD supervisor), and my own ex-PhD student Rui Sousa, so how could I not be supportive.

 

Having said that this first edition is excellent and even includes a controversy in the book review section!

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Um, here’s an, uh, map that might pin down that malicious tweet.

Um, here’s an, uh, map that might pin down that malicious tweet. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
This piece has been corrected. Every language has filler words that speakers use in nervous moments or to buy time while thinking. Two of the most common of these in English are "uh" and "um." They might seem interchangeable, but data show that their usage break down across surprising geographic lines. Hmm. The map above shows a preliminary...
Tim Grant's insight:

My colleagues Jack Grieve and Andrea Nini at CFL Aston have just started up a project using Twitter data for geographical profiling.  This is one of their first outputs.  

 

From a forensic perspective this is just part of the research we are doing on sociolinguistic profiling.  The ultimate aim is to take any anonymous malicious communication and to be able to pin it to a map...

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Summer's over - time to start up LSL again..

I've had a really busy summer working and playing and so I've let this blog lapse for a while.  

 

As we hit the end of September we are heading into  a new academic term with a good cohort on our redesigned MA Forensic Linguistics,  wehave all sorts of exciting research projects and other plans and a number of cases bubbling along sub-judice which I hope to be able to report soon...

 

So... I'll be looking for news stories, cases and gerneal articles of interest to anyone with an interst in forensic linguisitics.  If you find anything that would fit the LSL blog do contact me and I'll do my best to include it and  give you a shout out in acknowledgment.

 

Tim

 

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Boston bomber's friend did not have the English language competence to assert his rights?

Tim Grant's insight:

Solan and Tiersma write a lot about how hard it is for even  native English speakers to assert their rights in the context of lay-persons interactions with US law enforcement.  

 

How much harder this would be if you were a non-native speaker is less well explored.  

 

This article and the testimony focuses on the presence of an interpreter and the proficiency of English - there's a wider point about the pragmatics and cultural expectations.  If the police bring you to a police station in handcuffs for questioning it would not feel like you had the power to bring the interview to an end and get up and leave...

 

The US courts and appeal courts however don't seem to take too much notice of these kinds of pressures.

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Are we still jailing people for being merely offensive?

Are we still jailing people for being merely offensive? | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Introduction We looked at the case of Robert Riley who was jailed last month for tweeting offensive messaged relating to the death of Ann Maguire. Well, Mr Riley has a companion - on 4th June 2014 ...
Tim Grant's insight:

It would seem that we are indeed jailng people for being merely offensive -  and as Dan Bunting points out in this blog post this is against CPS' own guidelines.

 

This is for me a  freedom of speech issue - I have no doubt that these tweets are indeed offensive but I feel we should be free to be offend.

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Genericide - The silent brand killer

Genericide - The silent brand killer | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The world's biggest brands face a growing challenge to protect their powerful trademarks from over-use and abuse.
Tim Grant's insight:

This has long been an area of work for forensic linguists - the task is to determine when (and sometimes where) a term is being used generically. Ron Butters in particular writes about his work in this area although other linguists are available!

 

 A current case is whether 'app store' can belong to Apple or whether google or Samsung could open their own app stores.

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Why the recording of all police interviews is important.

Why the recording of all police interviews is important. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
We found that interrogators who were told that their sessions would be taped were less likely to use certain high-pressure interrogation techniques such as threatening the suspect and promising leniency in exchange for a confession....
Tim Grant's insight:

A good article explaining what can happen when interviews are not recorded and why the recent FBI announcement that they will record all suspect interviews is so important.  Taping is of course not the  endpoint - but one advantage is that it helps reduce the coercive practices also.

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Allow it - the pain of inadmissible knowledge.

A blog post

Tim Grant's insight:

I have been involved in a case over the last couple of weeks which has disturbed me more than the usual amount.  I can’t give full details at this time but may be able to in the future.  For now I’ll speak in fairly abstract terms.  

 

 

There’s a girl of sixteen and she’s trouble and she’s in trouble.  She has spent her childhood in care and from her early teens has been in and out of scrapes with the police.  She’s not unintelligent but has spent little time in school and her education is very limited – linguists might say that she only has access to a restricted code – the language she speaks is the variety of slang we call Multicultural London English (MLE).  Importantly it seems that she cannot draw on more standard varieties of English to communicate with authorities or in more formal settings.  She is not an ideal witness.

 

Over time she becomes involved with a group of older men who give her drugs in exchange for sex and sometimes she has sex with them just for the intimacy.  The age of consent is sixteen in the UK and in law at least some of this sex looks consensual not coerced. 

 

One evening she agrees to have sex with one of the men she’s been with before.  The authorities are very interested in prosecuting the man for a number of offenses and this is her story as it appears in her statement: They’ve both taken drugs and have gone to her bedroom.  She takes off her trousers and they fool around and then she’s decides she’s had enough.  He’s cuddling her and she wriggles out and walks towards the door saying she doesn’t want to have sex.  He catches up with her and forces her to.  That is to say, he rapes her. 

 

On the basis of the girl's witness statement the authorities add this charge of rape to the man’s indictment.

 

Special measures for vulnerable witnesses are made available to her and her evidence is given to the Court and she is of course cross-examined.  She doesn’t want to go to court, she is physically and emotionally exhausted by the process and it shows that she doesn’t want to be there. 

 

In cross-examination details of her language use come to the fore.  She tells the Court that the phrase she used to tell the man she does not want to have sex was “allow it, allow it”.   She is asked by the cross-examining lawyer to explain what this means.  She is unable to do so. Perhaps she has no other words.  At one point the lawyer asks “Allow what?” She is baffled by this question tries to explain and then gives it up – “Just allow it man”.

 

“Allow it” turns out to be an unfortunate choice of words.   In standard English, of course, it may be taken to mean the giving of permission, or perhaps even consent.  Native speakers of MLE will know differently.  There are probably hundreds of thousands of such speakers across all major British cities as MLE has long since spread beyond London.   “Allow it” in MLE means something like “let it be” or “leave it alone”. It can also be used to mean “stop it”   I’ve successfully given evidence about “allow it” before, in the context of a group of men attacking an individual.  In that case my evidence was for the defence.  One of the attackers shouted “allow it, allow it” and the others all stopped their attack.

 

In this case I rapidly put together a report for the prosecution – there was little time between the girl’s cross-examination and the end of the prosecution case.  My report was put to the defence and there followed legal arguments as to the admissibility of my evidence.

 

The judge ruled that my evidence, as to what the girl meant, should not be put before the jury.  He was probably right.  The view seems to have been that you don’t want an expert getting between a witness’ testimony and the jury.  Witnesses are present in Court to give their account in their own words – if more explanation is required then the witness should be in a position to do it herself.  The prosecution has an option to re-examine the witness but decide not to – part of this decision is that even if they could persuade the girl to come back to Court this would not be in the her best interest.

 

I’m feeling saddened and sickened by this case.  And angry.  (In fact  mostly angry.)  I understand the judge’s decision and pretty much agree with it.  I understand the prosecution’s decision not to re-examine the girl and I agree with that too.  The result is surely though a potential failure of justice. This girl is ultimately vulnerable. We’ve failed to care for her when she was “in care”, we’ve failed to empower her through education and it seems as though we will fail to uphold her right to justice against those who abused her. 

 

As always then, our only hope is with the jury.  There is a slim hope that amongst the twelve jurors one of them speaks or understands Multicultural London English or for some other reason believes there is evidence that the girl did not consent. But, if there is reasonable doubt as to what the girl meant, then the law is clear - on this particular charge of rape they should acquit.

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Trolling, online citizenship and ethical doxxing.

Trolling, online citizenship and ethical doxxing. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it

LSLAs trolling becomes a tool of international relations, the need for digital citizenship becomes clear

Tim Grant's insight:

This article is a tad outside LSLs normal scope but its a timely contribution for me as I'm currently getting very interested in an aspect of the morality and norms of online life.

 

In terms of trolling - this article by implication suggests there is a space for what we might consider 'white-hat' trolls.  Also in the wider context of more organised cyber-attacks it was afterall Anonymous who first went after the Syrian Electronic Army after the Syrian government’s nerve gas attack on its own citizens.    

 

What then about the role of forensic linguists.  Our business in online worlds is often one of ‘de-anonymisation’ – the Reddit community view such ‘doxxing’ as unacceptable, immoral even.  Their argument is mostly instrumental – anonymous posting supports free expression, but a further argument that de-anonymisation is an invasion of privacy might also have some legs. 

 

So the question I’m interested in is “when should we apply our techniques and abilities?” Clearly the unmasking of online paedophiles would be given general support but how about our's and other's recent attampts at outing of the writer of the Bitcoin white paper.   The same techniques of course might unmask environmental protesters, or opposition figures to some despotic regime.

 

What are the criteria for ethical de-anonymisation, ethical doxxing?  

 

Answers, anonymous or otherwise, gratefully accepted.

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Lingua Digitalis's curator insight, May 27, 6:22 AM

Tim Grant asks loads of questions here about the moral and ethical aspects of de-anonymisation of internet-users. Any views?

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More creative than Shakespeare? - the Largest Vocabulary in Hip hop

Tim Grant's insight:

Continuing the urban slang theme...

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Twitter Joke Threats Revisited

Twitter Joke Threats Revisited | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Threatening to commit a terrorist act on a major US Airline is not the best use of social media in the 21st Century. Nevertheless, on 13 April 2014 @QueenDemetriax tweeted; @AmericanAir hello my na...
Tim Grant's insight:

A coiuple of years on from the #TwitterJokeTrial there are still foolish joke bomb threats appearing.  

 

This is a useful run down of where we are in UK law and policy regarding prosecutions of social media threats.

 

HT @JackofKent 

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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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Primetime investigative interviewing masterclass - 24 Hours in Police Custody

Primetime investigative interviewing masterclass - 24 Hours in Police Custody | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Bedfordshire Police allowed more than 80 cameras to follow their work for this landmark documentary series from the makers of 24 Hours in A&E
Tim Grant's insight:

For anyone interested in the police investigative interview the first episode of this new UK series is a must watch. 

 

It demonstrates police officers using the Strategic Use of Evidence (SUE) technique and being countered by a wily defence solicitor (car number plate - 999LAW) advising his client to "no comment" throughout. 

 

Everyone is civil throughout and the rapport building before and after the interview is exemplary.

 

And there's even a surprise ending!

 

Parts of the interview could easily be used as source of data for an essay or short research project.

 

The show is on Monday nights on Channel 4 and available (at least in the UK) to stream online.

 

I'll be looking forward to future episodes..

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International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis

International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
An intensive course in forensic linguistics held annually from 2000
Tim Grant's insight:

Hi all


For the last few years the International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis ( http://forensiclinguistics.eu/ ;) has travelled all over but earlier this summer we held a very successful introductory and advanced school back home here at Aston.

We want to run it at Aston again next year but so we don't clash with the IAFL conference in China we were thinking of moving the time of year.


Do you have any opinion about moving the summer school to one of the following weeks?

- 31 Aug - 4 Sept
- 14 - 18 Sept
- 21 - 25 Sept


How does this fit your academic calendars? Would you be able to come at these times if you wanted to?


Do let us know as your feedback would be very helpful.


Thanks

Tim

  
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Australian judge strikes down police interview because interpreter should have been provided.

Australian judge strikes down police interview because interpreter should have been provided. | Language, society and law | Scoop.it

An interesting Australian judgement where the judge ruled that the police interviews were inadmissible because the accused, a second language speaker,  "did not understand the caution" and "in particular did not understand his right to silence". 

Tim Grant's insight:

This was posted to the forensic-linguistics@jiscmail.ac.uk emailing list by Diana Eades, one of the linguists who gave evidence.  Diana also posted a guide to reading the judgment for students of linguistics (rather than law students who will of course read the whole judgement!):

 

GUIDE FOR LINGUISTS TO THE JUDGMENT (lawyers and law students will also want to examine other parts of the judgment)

 

The pre-trial hearing in the murder case examined 3 main questions (#15). This guide focuses on two related questions involving language issues:  question (2) was about the need for an interpreter and question (3) was about coercion or pressure to participate in the interviews, and it involved the issue of whether the accused had understood his right to not answer questions. [In this guide, I ignore the issue which the judge deals with as question (1), about the suspect being initially treated as a witness to murder when the police first spoke to him, and later that day as a suspect: see especially #45]

 

Another important linguistic issue in this case concerns the quality of the translations of the Pintupi utterances made by the interview friend to the suspect. There was a disturbing inconsistency between the official (police) translation, and that made for the defence by the Kimberley Interpreter Service (see below under  "Linguistic evidence relevant to the question: Did the accused understand the caution?") 

 

The accused: a young Aboriginal man from the most remote community in the country (Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert), who spoke Pintupi as his first language: #46, 69-72  

 

The murder: #1, 4-5

 

The circumstances of the police interviews: # 7-11; 96-102. Note that most of the pre-trial hearing and the judgment concern the first interview, over about 6 hours, in Kiwirrkurra. (The following day the interview continued in various locations in Broome)

 

The judge's framing of the issues in terms of "The difficulties that can arise when interviewing Aboriginal suspects whose first language is not English": #3

 

The "interview friend" asked by police to "help" in the interview: #9, #86 point 2; see also #97-100;  122-124; 150; 175 point 3; and examples of problems, e.g. #105, 106

 (note the report by Eades pointed out the problem of conflict of interest occasioned in cases such as this, when an interview friend is asked to help the accused (i.e. be partial), and to interpret (i.e. be impartial). This is an issue that has been raised by Michael Cooke.) Note also that the quotes in the judgment from the interview friend (Mr Butler) are English translations of his utterances in the Pintupi language.

 

evidence of the recorded interview: #104-116

 

LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION: WAS AN INTERPRETER REQUIRED?

from applied linguists Maria Doyle and Dr David Ingram based on testing the accused's English proficiency: # 58-66

 

from sociolinguist Dr Diana Eades based on accused's linguistic biography, and his use of English in the interview: #68-72

 

LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE RELEVANT TO THE QUESTION: DID THE ACCUSED UNDERSTAND THE CAUTION?

from sociolinguist Dr Diana Eades based on linguistic analysis of the English utterances of the police officers, and sociolinguistic analysis of (a) the interaction between interviewing officer and accused, and (b) the change in speech act which occurred between the police officers' English utterances and the interview friend's Pintupi utterances: #117-124

 

From linguist David Moore (an expert in the Aboriginal languages of the region and an accredited and experienced interpreter in one of them): #125-128. Most of Mr Moore's evidence was about the disparity between the official (i.e. prosecution) translation of the Pintupi utterances of the prisoner's friend and the translation commissioned by the defence from the independent Kimberley Interpreter Service. This was relevant to the question of whether the accused understood the caution, because the official translation did not show the directives being uttered by the interview friend to tell the accused he had to speak to the police. See #103 for the judge's decision on this point, which includes adoption of the findings in Mr Moore's expert report.  

 

IN ADDITION TO THE PARAGRAPHS DEALING WITH LINGUISTIC EVIDENCE, the judgment includes many paragraphs which deal with other views of the language proficiency and comprehension of the accused, or are relevant to these issues: #47-53, 54-57, 73-76, 116

 

The sections on relevant law and conclusions will also be of considerable interest: #77-81, 82-84, 116, 144-152, 175-183

 

also of interest re police interviews with suspects: #86, 162-163

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Labelling all accusers 'victims' will pervert the course of justice

Labelling all accusers 'victims' will pervert the course of justice | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
The principle that someone accused of an offence is “innocent until proven guilty” is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. But a new idea of what constitutes “victimhood…
Tim Grant's insight:

This is an intersting perspective on the recent spate of child abuse cases following the Jimmy Saville revelations.  

 

I agree with some of the writer's points here but feel it is important that we are making more efforts to secure convictions giuven the still dire attrition rates.

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Lay vs Legal thinking: What's on a lawyers mind? from the FuzzyLaw project

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There's lots of good stuff on the Fuzzy Law website run out of Cardiff University's forensic linguistic group and this is just their latest...

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UK Supreme Court on Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin in asylum claims

UK Supreme Court on Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin in asylum claims | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Hundreds of asylum seekers may have been wrongly deported from Britain due to the Home Office’s reliance on a Swedish firm to analyse their language, it was claimed last night.
Tim Grant's insight:

IAFL have long been cautious and somewhat critical about Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin.  

 

 - the IAFL statement on this work (adopted in 2003 published 2004) can be found here: http://bit.ly/1lOuJIb

 

- a good summary of the criticism can be found in Peter Patrick's IAFL conference speech in 2009: http://bit.ly/1oDrF5n .  

 

- also worth a look is Peter's LARG network website with loads of links and updates at  http://www.essex.ac.uk/larg/Default.aspx

 

 

And as a final link the full Supreme Court judgement can be read here: http://supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2013_0202_Judgment.pdf

 

  

If you read the judgement (which you should) you'll see that it is not critical of Sprakab's language analysis per se.  

 

Quoting the previous hearing - 

 

"It accepted that Sprakab was a bona fide organisation which has devised and refined a system for analysing language requiring interaction between several employees. That process minimises the opportunities for the incompetence of one to lead to a false result. [...] The Upper Tribunal noted that Sprakab did not claim to be infallible.” [para 3.9]

 

However the judgement also notes that 

 

"the Upper Tribunal did not have the benefit of oral evidence from experts critical of Sprakab’s methods. That was another reason for caution." [para 47]

 

There then follows an interesting discussion of the current legal guidelines for LADO analysis and a call for review of those guidelines. There is some legal nicety about not wishing to pre-judge the review but in essence the Supreme Court asks for two main changes to the guidance:  

 

Of particular importance is the advice that the "safeguard requiring the Secretary of State to make the recording available to any expert instructed for the claimant is not only sensible, but essential." [para 51.I.c]

 

and also that

 

"Sprakab reporters should limit themselves to identifying [..] lack of [regional] knowledge, rather than offering opinions on the general question of whether the claimant speaks convincingly. (It is not the function of an expert in language use to offer an opinion on general credibility)." [para 51.III.b]

 

An interesting and important judgement – watch this space…

 

------Addition to original post--------

 

Prof Peter Patrick who has worked hard in this area for a number of years wrote on the topic to the forensic-linguistics@jiscmail.ac.uk email list.  He's kindly given his permission so that I can add  the contents of that email to this post:

 

 

 

Last week the UK Supreme court handed down a judgement (SSHD v MN & KY [2014] UKSC30) concerning the use of linguistic evidence – in the form of commercial language analysis reports (LADO, seehttp://www.essex.ac.uk/larg/) – in UK asylum tribunals. The Home Office had appealed a decision by the Scottish appeals courts, which I reported here last year (having been linguistic consultant to the asylum seekers’ legal team). In last week’s decision, the Home Office, hence the UK Border Agency, lost their appeal.

 

The unanimous decision sends tribunals back to the drawing board to reconsider the basis for linguistic evidence in asylum cases. The previous standard was RB (Linguistic evidence – Sprakab) Somalia [2010] UKUT 329 (IAC), upheld by the Appeals Court in 2012; the Supreme Court decided RB had been “unduly prescriptive and potentially misleading”, both in recommending that language reports from Sprakab (the Swedish commercial firm which has been the UKBA’s provider in recent years) should automatically receive considerable weight, and in removing the onus from individual cases to determine whether the anonymity Sprakab analysts routinely enjoy – unlike most forensic linguistic witnesses – is justified. The Court cited the Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases (Language & National Origin Group, published 2004 in IJSLL) in their judgement.

In the particular cases decided, the Court further observed that Sprakab’s “comments on knowledge of country and culture were inadequately supported by any demonstrated expertise of the authors”, and “went beyond the proper role of” an expert witness, who “should never act or appear to act as advocates”.

 

It seems likely that the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration & Asylum Chamber will choose a case soon in which to revisit the “evidence both for and against Sprakab’s methodology”. Pointers given by the Court include that “expertise [must be] properly demonstrated and… reasoning adequately explained”, which one might think could hardly be disagreed with. In fact, they said Sprakab’s reasoning “can be better explained and not (as it often currently seems to be) left implicit”, perhaps raising the bar of linguistic argumentation.

 

Also of interest to this list, the Court commented on Sprakab’s occasional practice of evaluating the credibility of asylum seekers based on their interview speech. Such observations have been made on the basis of unmeasured pauses or alleged hesitations, shortness of answers, etc. The Court said that an “observation that KY’s knowledge ‘sounds rehearsed for the occasion’ reads as that of an advocate rather than an independent expert witness, and was wholly inappropriate even if the relevant expertise had been established”. Sprakab’s linguist frequently submit as part of their qualifications that they have attended or spoken at IAFPA or IAFL meetings; perhaps future attendance will allow them to improve their understanding of linguistic forensic practices and standards.

 

I have made arguments similar to those in the Court’s judgement in submissions in over 60 cases since 2008, and have been criticized on occasion by colleagues as “biased” for continuing to do so. It is gratifying to see them upheld by the highest court in the land. I look forward to better use of linguistic expertise and fairer asylum decisions in the wake of this judgement.

 

Citation and Links:

Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) vs MN and KY (Respondents) (Scotland) [2014] UKSC 30, given on 21 May 2014, case heard on 5-6 March 2014.

http://www.supremecourt.uk/decided-cases/docs/UKSC_2013_0202_Judgment.pdf

 

Language & Asylum Research Group (LARG) http://www.essex.ac.uk/larg/

 

 

Prof Peter L Patrick

Dept of Language and Linguistics

University of Essex

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FBI to record all suspect interviews

FBI to record all suspect interviews | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
A new Department of Justice policy says federal agents must record interrogations, as a way to protect against coercion and false confessions.
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A big step forward for the FBI.

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The politicisation of hate crime

The politicisation of hate crime | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Ukip has asked police officers to arrest demonstrators for a hate crime if they call their supporters "fascists" at a public meeting held by the party. Three of the party's European election candidates said, in a joint statement, that they had asked Sussex Police to arrest "any protestors who call our supporters 'fascists', hurl other abuse or any physical assault, for 'hate crime' or under the Public Order Act" at the Hove meeting on Tuesday night.
Tim Grant's insight:

 

 

"The Home Office defines hate crime as "any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic. Hate crime can be motivated by disability, gender identity, race, religion or faith and sexual orientation".(quoted from the article).  

 

Given this definition I cannot see how any demonstration against a political view could constitute a hate crime.  This seems to me to be legal bluster and politcal bullying.

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International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis @CFL_Aston - Programmes now available

International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis @CFL_Aston -  Programmes now available | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
An intensive course in forensic linguistics held annually from 2000
Tim Grant's insight:

Excitingly close now - we are looking forward to welcoming you to Aston.

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International Association of English in Law and Insurance

International Association of English in Law and Insurance | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
Welcome to the International Association of English in Law and Insurance (IAELI). IAELI is a truly international association that brings together the academic and professional sectors to promote clear and effective communication in the legal and insurance industries. There are many organisations promoting plain English and many do a great job.  However, IAELI is different. …
Tim Grant's insight:

This is a new group promoting clear language and communication in legal and insurance contexts - good luck to them!

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Right Rhymes ⋅ Hip-Hop Slang Defined

Right Rhymes ⋅ Hip-Hop Slang Defined | Language, society and law | Scoop.it
the Right Rhymes is a historical dictionary of hip-hop slang ⋅ Learn meanings of slang terms, etymologies, related words ⋅ 1000s of rap lyric examples
Tim Grant's insight:

This is great - I've had a number of cases explaining slang ( mostly Multicultural London English or MLE) to the Courts.

 

This would definitely help.

 

via @Babel and @BabelMisterSlang

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