Dr John Olsson Overall aims and purpose This module focuses on established principles and theories of Linguistics as they apply to discourse which occurs in the court room, the use of forensic linguistics as an expertise, and the analysis of the different types of language which take place in the court room. The aim is to make law and criminology students aware of what is happening at the linguistic level. Course content The language of examination and cross-examination; the language of judge-lawyer communications; the language of judicial summaries; the language of voir dire; the language of expert witnesses; the language of opening and closing speeches to the jury.
EmmaB 8 Comments As you know, the Crimepsych blog is on something of a hiatus until later this year. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions about how forensic linguistics contributes to solving crimes.
You can find out more about John and his work over at his comprehensive website. Tell us about some of your cases I mostly get asked to give an opinion on the authorship of a text, which can be a book, a set of mobile phone texts, letters, emails and so on. I also do plagiarism analysis.
This was a very big case and it went all the way to the US Supreme Court. Most of my work is criminal work. I did the authorship analysis in the case of Garry Weddell, the police inspector accused of murdering his wife.
He was released on bail and later shot his mother in law and then himself. I also did the linguistics in the case of Julie Turner, the woman whose body was found in an oil barrel in Yorkshire.
What other kinds of cases do you get involved in? I often get asked by coroners to look at suicide notes, or other texts surrounding incidents of suspicious death.
I also do a lot of insurance and other security work in fraud and forgery cases. Mobile phone text authorship is also a key area in forensic linguistics.
There are two parts to forensic linguistics: Language as evidence involves the linguist being asked to give an expert opinion on the authorship, or possibly meaning, of a text.
This involves making an analysis, writing a report and going to court to give evidence. How do you find the experience of giving evidence in court? Lawyers should not hesitate to be as probing as possible when it comes to experts.
When was forensic linguistics first used? Forensic linguistics was first used in an analysis of a suspect statement in by a Swedish linguist by the name of Jan Svartvik.
How long have you been practising as a forensic linguist? I have been practising since aboutworking with police forces all over the UK and the US, and with lawyers in the UK and abroad. I have prepared over reports for court and have given evidence many times, mostly for prosecution.
Do you think forensic linguistics has been beneficial for the justice system? I believe forensic linguistics has had a major impact on the justice system in that it has helped courts to clarify the linguistic evidence either in favour of or against suspects. How should police officers and lawyers brief forensic linguists?
Another important factor is when to approach the expert. I suggest the earlier the better — even if it is just to get an opinion on the viability of a particular piece of evidence. How can Forensic Linguistics be used in a criminal investigation?
To identify the author of a text, such as a ransom demand or suicide note, or series of hate mail letters, mobile phone texts or emails.
To clarify the meaning of a word or phrase. For example, in one case I was asked the meaning of a slang word in a murder trial and to evaluate the word in context and assess its meaning within the scope of the crime that had been committed.(Gerald R.
McMenamin, Forensic Linguistics: Advances in Forensic Stylistics. CRC Press, ) "On some occasions the linguist is asked to provide investigative assistance or expert evidence for use in Court.
Within the linguistics literature there has been considerable focus on the rules for admission of authorship identification evidence to criminal prosecutions, but the role of the linguist in providing .
The court as a judicial institution upholds its credibility to serve the people to bring fair justice to everyone in the community. The judges, lawyers and those who are involved during hearings and proceedings A Forensic Linguistic Analysis DOI: / skybox2008.com 67 | Page exchange of the discourse.
He presented. This module focuses on established principles and theories of Linguistics as they apply to discourse which occurs in the court room, the use of forensic linguistics as an expertise, and the analysis of the different types of language which take place in the court room.
Forensic Linguistics: Pros and Cons. Forensic linguists perform language analysis and advising for legal companies, private firms, law enforcement and the government. Consider the pros and cons to determine if a career in forensic linguistics is right for you.
Forensic Linguistic Analysis of Court Room Language By dateable Although legal texts were not mentioned in the IEEE material, applicable frameworks ere. The rationale for choosing text from the legal register is based on current social issues of fairness. POSTnote September Forensic Language Analysis Page 2 Box 1.
Court Cases Admitting Linguistic and Phonetic Evidence These cases have involved forensic experts giving evidence in court.