First Regional Conference of the International Association of the Forensic Linguists, Cape Town, South Africa

I am delighted to inform you that the First Southern Africa Regional Conference of the International Association of the Forensic Linguists, “New Frontiers of Justice in Forensic Linguistics” will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 16 to 17 April 2018, at the Lagoon Beach Hotel, hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology in affiliation with Rhodes University.

The conference will address a range of critically important themes in the various language and the law/forensic linguistics related fields. Plenary sessions will include presentations by some of the world’s leading thinkers in the field, as well as numerous papers, workshop presentations by academics, researchers and practitioners.

Aims of the Conference

  • To present an opportunity for researchers and emerging researchers internationally and in Africa in particular to explore issues relating to the practice of language and the law /forensic linguistics in their diverse academic spaces.
  • To create an opportunity for researchers to interact with practitioners in order to explore the relationship between current research and practice.
  • To determine specific areas of research that need stimulation to provide an appropriate basis for applied research in the practice of language and the law in Southern Africa and in the African context.
  • To create the opportunity for researchers and practitioners working in the field of language and the law /forensic linguistics to establish possible collaborations in a variety of areas with the aim to contribute towards the advancement of the field in Africa.

The conference theme “New Frontiers of Justice in Forensic Linguistics” will embrace contributions from a wide spectrum of research on language and law, legal recognition of African languages and cultures within the criminal justice system, from a historical perspective (reflections on what has been achieved so far towards the developmental initiatives pertaining this growing field) and future prospects (projections on how current research can impact on future developments). Southern African nations are highly linguistically diverse and this conference offers an opportunity to explore emerging research into the interactions between multilingual citizenry and postcolonial justice systems.

Sub-themes include but are not confined to the following areas:

  • Police investigative interviewing
  • Language in the legal process including legal texts, courtroom discourse and commercial applications
  • Language as evidence /in evidence
  • Authorship attribution
  • Interpreting and translating legal texts.

I thoroughly recommend this event – the Conference Chair is a great and esteemed colleague of mine, Monwabisi Ralarala, whose pioneering research deals with linguistic rights in South Africa and reforms of the criminal justice system – alongside his extensive other activities (click on his name to find out more!).

For further information about the conference, see the website. Abstract submissions extended to 15 December 2017.

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