Founded in 2000 by Prof. Malcolm Coulthard, the International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis addresses topics to do with the role, shape and evidential value of language in legal and forensic contexts. It was created in response to a growing demand for a course affording an overview of forensic linguistics while also laying solid foundations for a further study of this relatively new branch of applied linguistics.
The School’s first edition took place at Anglia Polytechnic University and was followed by four events in Birmingham and one in Lodz, Poland. From 2006 to 2011 the School was held at Aston University. The twelth edition was again held outside Britain, with one event in Kuala Lumpur and another in Barcelona. The thirteenth edition took place in Mainz, Germany, in September 2013 and last year the School returned to Aston University for its fourteenth edition. The fifteenth edition will be held from 31 August to 4 September 2015 at Aston University as well. The draft programme is available here.
The Summer School addresses subjects within the broadly defined discipline of forensic linguistics, including the structure of legal language, forensic authorship attribution, copyright issues, plagiarism and its detection, and forensic phonetics. We work with authentic language data and use real cases to illustrate theory. We opt for maximum student involvement and encourage critical inquiry and debate.
Each year we invite leading scholars and/or practitioners in forensic linguistics to be our guest tutors. This gives the participants the unique opportunity to interact directly with those responsible for recent developments in the field of language and the law and forensic linguistics. Apart from being professional linguists and/or lawyers, all of our tutors have first-hand experience of providing expert evidence for courts of law.