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From the Crime Scene to the Language Lab and Back: Cross-linguistic Empirical Research on Language and the Law and its Practical Applications


In this paper I present evidence for the importance of close collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners in law and language and illustrate its benefits for linguistics, legal studies as well as professional practice and public service. The interactive relationship between language and the law has been studied from many different angles in the past by linguists and legal experts. However, much of this research has been based on single case studies, or a handful of cases, which have not been sufficient for the purpose of establishing the strength or the extent of the observed effects of language on matters of legal importance. The purpose of the present paper, which has been written at the explicit request of the editors, is to pull together a number of research strands that my collaborators and I have pursued over the last two decades and to critically assess the findings from a number of studies, our own and those of others. The main conclusion drawn from these analyses is that legal communication in both monolingual and multilingual contexts needs to be addressed from an interdisciplinary perspective that brings together insights from both the language lab and the everyday experiences of practitioners. These insights and their supporting data can inspire each other’s endeavours for the ultimate benefit of those members of society who are most in need of support and of impeccable public service, such as victims, witnesses and suspects in a justice system.

Cite as: Filipović, JLL 11 (2022), 104–120, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2022.104

صندلی اداری سرور مجازی ایران Decentralized Exchange


legal interpreting, police communication, real-life data, witness testimony, witness memory



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