Ignorance is not bliss: by Dr Georgina Heydon

My friend and colleague Georgina Heydon will present this paper on 26 Oct. I heard her deliver similar content during her inaugural lecture as President of IAFL in July and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Ignorance is not bliss: How widespread misconceptions about language cause systemic failures in the justice system

Around the world and in our own backyard, criminal justice institutions are blighted by cases of inappropriate decisions made by legal professionals who lack an understanding of how language works.

This special Global Frictions public lecture by the President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, Dr Georgina Heydon, will explore the impact on justice processes of widespread public ignorance about language. Dr Heydon will begin by examining a set of case studies that represent the range of decision types and justice contexts that are most affected by this knowledge gap. She will then explore the opportunities for addressing these gaps through linguistic research and training. Finally, she will make recommendations for how educators, the judiciary, justice institutions and lawyers can work with forensic linguists to raise awareness about linguistics and reduce ignorance and bias relating to language use.

This lecture, followed by a Q&A session with Dr Heydon and noted legal and linguistic experts, will be of interest to legal professionals, interpreters and translators, criminologists, researchers interested in cultural and linguistic diversity, human and civil rights activists and related policy makers.

Lawyers, you can claim 1.5 CPD point for attending this public lecture if the topic relates to your field of practice, as it will extend your knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to your practice needs or professional development, pursuant to Rules 7 and 8 of the CPD Rules

For interpreters and translators, you can claim 10 PD points under the new recertification PD catalogue Category 1 Skills Development and Knowledge, Section 1.4.


Dr Georgina Heydon,
Director, Centre for Global Research, RMIT University
President, International Association of Forensic Linguists

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