Sociolinguistics and the Legal Process is an introduction to language, law and society for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students. Its central focus is the exploration of what sociolinguistic research can tell us about how language works and doesn't work in the legal process. Written for readers who may not have prior knowledge of sociolinguistics or the law, the book has an accessible style combined with discussion questions and exercises as well as topics for assignments, term papers, theses and dissertations. A wide range of legal contexts are investigated, including courtroom hearings, police interviews, lawyer interviews as well as small claims courts, mediation, youth justice conferencing and indigenous courts. The final chapter looks at how sociolinguists can contribute to the legal process: as expert witnesses, through legal education, and through investigating the role of language in the perpetuation of inequality in and through the legal process.
Diana Eades (University of New England, Australia) has been actively involved in the legal process for more than twenty years, doing sociolinguistic research, providing expert evidence and delivering training for judges, magistrates and lawyers. She has taught at undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Hawaia i and several colleges and universities in Australia. At various times she has been President, Vice-President and Secretary of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. In addition to many journal articles and book chapters, her publications include Courtroom Talk and Neocolonial Control (2008, Mouton de Gruyter) and the 1995 edited volume Language in Evidence: Issues Confronting Aboriginal and Multicultural Australia (UNSW Press). She is co-editor of The International Journal of Speech Language and the Law.
PART 1 INTRODUCTION Chapter 1 Using sociolinguistics to study the legal process PART II COURTROOM HEARINGS Chapter 2 Researching courtroom talk Chapter 3 Focus on trials Chapter 4 Second language speakers and interpreters Chapter 5 Vulnerable witnesses Chapter 6 Courtroom talk and societal power relations PART III POLICE INTERVIEWS Chapter 7 Police interviews Chapter 8 Police interviews with members of minority groups PART IV OTHER LEGAL CONTEXTS Chapter 9 Lawyer-client interactions Chapter 10 Informal and alternative legal processes PART V CONCLUSION Chapter 11 What (else) can sociolinguistics do?