IAFPA Resolution - Language and Determination of National Identity Cases

At the IAFPA annual conference, Plymouth, UK, on 24th July, 2007 a Working Group was established to investigate standards and procedures in cases involving the analysis of language and speech in the determination of national identity.

At the IAFPA annual conference in Cambridge, UK, on 5th August, 2009 the outcome of the Working Group's investigations resulted in the following Resolution:

In cases involving the analysis of language and speech for the determination of national identity IAFPA recognises the contribution to be made by:

  1. Linguists and trained native speakers with the latter working under the guidance and supervision of the former;
  2. Linguists with in-depth research knowledge of the language(s) in question.

It is not a valid assumption that a native speaker, linguist or specialized linguist is by definition also a qualified analyst, capable of performing the type of analysis referred to here. Language analysis is a form of forensic analysis that requires additional skills and competence. Individual competences and experience affect the quality of the analyses, regardless of the method. Specific training and testing is therefore recommended.

The conclusion expressed should in all cases reflect not only the strengths and weaknesses of the material analysed but also of the personnel involved.

This Resolution was passed at the 2009 annual general meeting.