A first for Southern Africa, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, in affiliation with Rhodes
University, the University of South Africa, and University Eduardo Mondlane, will be hosting the
International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL) conference from 16-17 April 2018 at Lagoon
Beach Hotel in Milnerton, Cape Town.
The IAFL is an international association focused on forensic linguistics, which is a relatively unknown
research and specialisation area in law and language in South Africa, and across Africa in general.
Areas of expertise that make up the IAFL include police investigative interviewing, language use in
the legal process, language used with and as evidence in legal cases, and the interpretation and
translation of legal texts. Attendees will predominantly be scholars and researchers in the domains of
language, law, anthropology, psychology, criminology, police science, and related disciples from all
around the world.
This year’s theme of discussion for the IAFL is ‘New Frontiers of Justice in Forensic Linguistics’, which
will be showcasing a plethora of contributions from research on language and law, including legal
recognition of African languages and cultures within the criminal justice system. This will be
approached from both a historical perspective in reflection of what has been achieved regarding the
developmental initiatives pertaining this field, as well as from the angle of how current research can
impact the future of forensic linguistics.
“Southern African nations are highly linguistically diverse and this conference will provide us with an
immense opportunity to explore international and local emerging research, covering the interactions
between multi-lingual citizenry and post-colonial justice systems,” explained Professor Russell
Kaschula, Rhodes NRF SARChI Chair: Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism &
Education, who has been heavily involved in making this regional conference possible.
International keynote speaker and panelist representation will include Dr Georgina Heydon from the
Centre for Global Research at Australia’s RMIT University, and Dr Celia Blake, attorney-at- law and
Senior Lecturer at The University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Keynote speakers and panellists sharing knowledge and research from an African perspective will
include Judge James Yekiso, who spent 15 years on the Bench of the Cape High Court, Professor
Lirieka Meintjes-van der Walt, an adjunct professor of Law and the Project Leader of the Law,
Science and Justice Research Niche Area at the University of Fort Hare, Mr. Cornelus JA Lourens,
who has 29 years’ experience as a trial lawyer, and Dr Eliseu Mabasso, an assistant professor at
University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique.
“This regional conference of the IAFL will be the first time it has been held on the African continent.
Rhodes University is privileged to be involved in the hosting of such a prestigious event,” Prof
For more information on the conference, go to: http://www.cput.ac.za/blogs/iafl.