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Expert forensic linguistic evidence helped unmask the 1996 Unabomber, revealed the author of Primary Colours and in New Zealand assisted with the Carmen Thomas murder case, the acquittal of David Bain, and the resolution of a trademark dispute between InterCity and Nakedbus. Forensic linguistics is the application of linguistic knowledge, methods and insights to the forensic context of law, language, crime investigation, trial, and judicial procedure.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of the evidence-based science of forensic linguistics and how it might be applied in your practice.
  • Receive practical insights into different types of forensic linguistic evidence such as ear witness identity, the analysis and interpretation of text, and how it might assist parties in a civil, criminal, family or commercial context.
  • Learn when and how to instruct a forensic linguist and the ways in which they might assist you to win your case.

Who should view?

This On Demand webinar is likely to be useful to all lawyers with civil, criminal, family and commercial law practices. Forensic accountants will also find it useful.


Order timeframe

Access details will be delivered via email within 15 minutes.


Dr Bronwen Innes
Honorary Research Fellow

Linguistics and law have been constant companions for much of my adult life.  Some years after completing a Masters degree in linguistics and becoming a secondary school English teacher, conversations with my lawyer husband about the use of language in legal settings sparked my interest in working in linguistics. 

After completing a PhD thesis in which I looked into misunderstandings and powerless language style in some District Court hearings, I continued my interest with research into judges’ summing up for juries in the High Court and, latterly, a project investigating how well people understand Bill of Rights information used by police. 

My interest has led to work as a consultant forensic linguist (in over 40 matters, including giving expert evidence in a number of cases e.g. R v David Bain, Intercity v Nakedbus), as well as editing and training in plain language writing, and teaching linguistics at the University of Auckland.