Forensic linguistics has become another university course on offer in Catalonia. This year, and for the first time in Spain , IDEC is teaching a master's programme in this subject which combines knowledge of judicial and specialised language. The Master in Forensic Linguistics is officially recognised by the CDL, the School of Doctorate and Graduate Degrees in Arts and Sciences of Catalonia, and aims to contribute to the introduction of the professional qualification of Judicial Linguistics Specialist in institutions. This profile is increasingly required by businesses, institutions and administrations for the analysis of written or audiovisual documents which may constitute valid proof by experts to solve police investigations or court cases.
The master, taught by IDEC and IULA (the University Institute of Applied Linguistics), therefore aims to respond to the specific linguistic needs of the legal world. In this sense, Maria Teresa Turell, director of the master and professor in English Linguistics at UPF, emphasises that this new qualification is clearly within a 21st century context in which linguistic studies cannot be generalised but should instead respond to the training needs of specific areas.
With the aim of promoting this master in Forensic Linguistics Josep Joan Moreso, rector of Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Josefina Cambra, deacon of CDL, the School of Doctorate and Graduate Degrees in Arts and Sciences of Catalonia, signed an agreement on 11th November of this year. Both parties believe this is essential in order to encourage the institutionalisation of the professional qualification of Specialist in Judicial Linguistics, to establish forensic linguistics as a subject, and also to give more validity and reliability to the work of such specialists in the field of justice. (Photo: Josefina Cambra and Josep Joan Moreso during the signing of the agreement).
As well as this master's programme, the agreement is also considering the creation by the CDL of a Register of Specialists in Judicial Linguistics, which will be issued to the relevant judicial institutions and which will include all those individuals who have obtained the master's qualification in Forensic Linguistics from UPF. As a guarantee of quality the school will issue a certificate to prove that those with the qualification are included on the register. Since the beginning of the year the CDL has also publicised and offered the Master in Forensic Linguistics to its collegians, as reflected in the agreement which it signed with UPF last January. The next edition of this new qualification will start on 9 th February of next year and finish in June, 2010.