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On the Value of Forensic Linguists as Expert Witnesses in the Administration of Justice in China

Author: LiFengLing
Tutor: XiaoYunShu
School: Southwest University of Political Science
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: expert witnesses forensic linguistics forensic linguists administration of justice value
CLC: D90-055
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 10
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Abstract


With the mergence of law and linguistics and the deep research of applied linguistics, the importance of forensic linguists is more and more prominent in the legislation and administration of justice. According to the published judicial opinions and publications at home and abroad, it appears apparent that forensic linguists can be vital to the perfection of legislation and facilitate the accomplishment of the goal of law by testifying at trials on the meaning in the legal disputes concerning the interpretation of legal texts such as statutes and contracts. Especially, forensic linguists as expert witnesses would play a key role in cases involved with some language issues, for ordinaries and even the judges could not be the master of language and legal language. Besides, although the linguistic study of legal language is well established, linguistics is still something new for many jurors, judges, attorneys, and other forensic specialists. The importance of forensic linguists in the legal practice in China has not been admitted by common people and even legal professionals. Lawyers and judges generally do not accept that linguists have relevant expertise in this area, which they regard as part of their domain. However, the famous scholar McCormick’s well-known opinion "the law is simply a matter of linguistics"(Liu Weiming,2003) demonstrates the close relationship between law and linguistics. Therefore, it is oblivious that the perception of legal professionals is to some extent misguided.In China, although some cases involved with language issues appear to turn to linguists for help, due to various legal reasons, little effect has been brought about. But in fact, forensic linguists as expert witnesses have made great effect on justice in countries of common law system, which is of help for the parties in the case and the judges to make decisions. In order to call judiciary’s attention to forensic linguists’ value and admit reliable linguistic expertise so that they can contribute a lot to our administration of justice, which will benefit both the judiciary and linguistics, and push the development of Chinese appraisal system and forensic linguistics, this thesis tends to take a research on the value of forensic linguists as expert witnesses in the administration of justice in China in a view of forensic linguistics.

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CLC: > Political, legal > Legal > Theory of law (Law) > Law and other disciplines > Forensic Linguistics
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