Skip to Content

This website uses Cookies you can control them from this page: Cookies page

Functionality Cookies Performance Cookies Targeting Cookies
21 October - 17 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Writing Wrongs: Using Language Analysis to Improve Access to Justice.

Event title (Writing Wrongs) and byline (Using Language Analysis to Improve Access to Justice) together with location (Steelhouse Lane Lock-Up) and date (29 October 2023)

What’s on offer?

The field of Forensic Linguistics is perhaps one of the lesser-known applications of the study of language, but it is one of the more fascinating. This free day-long  event at the old Victorian Lock-Up in Birmingham, and being hosted by Aston University’s Institute for Forensic Linguistics, will plunge you into the numerous roles a trained linguist might occupy at various stages of the criminal justice system, showing that a knowledge of linguistics presents multiple opportunities beyond the expected. 

What’s it about?

This immersive event will feature acted scenes, accessible talks, and practical hands-on activities which will give participants the opportunity to explore some of the ways in which an understanding of language can be put to use in addressing issues of justice. The day’s activities will revolve around the legislation, commission, investigation, and prosecution of an instance of a language crime, namely the sending of a grossly offensive message in contravention of the Communications Act 2003 s. 127. Participants will have the opportunity to critique the complexities of legal language; debate the meaning of grossly offensive; engage in authorship analysis (‘who wrote this text?’); evaluate police interview practice; take part in the examination of a witness in court; and finally deliberate and deliver a verdict. 

An hour is built into the schedule for lunch, but lunch itself is not provided. There will be refreshments provided during shorter breaks in the morning and afternoon. 

Who’s leading the event?

Dr Nicci MacLeod, Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
Dr Annina Heini, Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics 

Open to


Of particular interest to

Those with an interest in language and linguistics, including GCSE and A-Level students thinking about their degree options.

Scheduling information

Day-long session 10-5

Event booking deadline

A week before (22nd October). Space is limited , first come first served.