Module Catalogues

Language of the Law

Module Title Language of the Law
Module Level Level 3
Module Credits 5.00

Aims and Fit of Module

This module aims to examine one specialist area of Applied Linguistics, the application of the theories and techniques of language description to spoken and written texts in forensic contexts, including understanding language of the written law, understanding language use in forensic and judicial processes and the provision of linguistic evidence. The module will look at such topics as language use in legal discourse, the structure of written legal texts, authorship attribution, questions of copyright and the detection of plagiarism, and disputed police records of interview and confession.

Learning outcomes

Upon the completion of the module, students will be able to
a. demonstrate a good understanding of a range of genres and registers in legal contexts
b. demonstrate knowledge of distinctive features of the structure of legal language
c. apply analytical tools and techniques of linguistic description to the analysis of spoken and written legal texts in order to understand how they make meaning in legal contexts.

Method of teaching and learning

The teaching sessions are divided into two components (Lectures and Tutorials/workshops), and will involve the following modes of teaching and learning:
• Reading in which students will learn more about linguistic concepts, ideas and techniques.
• Tutorials/Group discussion in which students apply these concepts in analysing and talking about texts.
• Presentations in which students will presents the results of investigating texts and sharing findings.