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Intricacies of litigation language

Research training on the litigation language challenges of self-representation in legal proceedings has led to professional development in the areas of law and forensic linguistics.
Intricacies of litigation language
For people with linguistic difficulties, representing themselves in court without a lawyer can prove to be a difficult and challenging process. The EU-funded research project PRO SE LANGUAGE USE (Linguistic aspects of pro se litigation) has analysed linguistic choices during the most challenging stages of a trial.

Research training objectives included areas of concentration that focused on pro se litigants' linguistic choices. These include strategies in questioning, power relations and witness resistance, turn-taking, interactions between pro se litigants and witnesses and legal professionals, politeness, use of discourse markers, rhetorical devices and forms of address. Complementary training objectives were also included and successful. These were of a more practical nature such as organisational, networking and information technology skills.

Results of the quantitative and qualitative analyses performed on the data have been presented in three articles, five invited lectures and 11 conference presentations, and are currently being finalised for a sole-authored book. The work was successful in forming cooperation with many socio-legal research groups and more publications in the future are likely.

Policymakers, socio-legal scholars and practitioners will find the study useful. Outreach activities to follow can have a positive impact on the wider public in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Related information


Litigation, self-representation, legal proceedings, law, forensic linguistics
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