Covert recordings provide powerful evidence, allowing a court to hear admissions that would not be made overtly. Unfortunately their contents are often indistinct, in foreign languages, or both. This makes it difficult to be sure what is being said and who is saying it. Over the past thirty years, the courts have developed practices to overcome these difficulties. However this has been done without consultation of the linguistic sciences, and the practices incorporate a number of anomalies that compromise the fairness of our criminal justice system. This talk outlines the anomalies their effects, and a Call to Action recently delivered by Australian linguists to the judiciary.
For further background see forensictranscription.com.au.