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About

The primary research focus of the Centre for Spoken Interaction in Legal Contexts (SILC), led by Dr Kate Haworth, is on investigative interviews in police and other contexts (such as internal or civil investigations), but our remit encompasses other contexts where spoken interaction is central, such as courtroom interaction, emergency calls, and first response encounters. 

A key tenet of our approach is to work closely with practitioners and external organisations, in order to produce genuinely useful research informed by, and grounded in, professional practice.

Projects

For the record: transcribing police interviews
This SILC project, lead by Dr Kate Haworth in collaboration with Dr Felicity Deamer and Dr Emma Richardson, involves creating a comprehensive map of current procedure for transcribing police-suspect interviews, analysis of variation in practice at both local and national level, and the consequences for the use of interview data as evidence. We aim to produce standardised transcription conventions and training, making a significant contribution to evidential integrity and accuracy.
Vulnerability and the investigative interview
Dr Emma Richardson will examine real and simulated investigate interviews of vulnerable child and adult witnesses reporting rape and sexual assault. Using conversation analysis, she will focus on the constituent actions and the specifics of turn design, turn taking, action formation and sequence organisation as officers follow guidance and adhere to best practice.
Policing a mental health crisis: using language to keep someone safe
Dr Felicity Deamer will examine the complex communicative interactions that take place between police first-responders and people in crisis experiencing serious mental health difficulties.  By examining how these interactions unfold, Felicity aims to improve current training and practice in how to interact with the mentally unwell, including those who are hearing voices.  
The dynamics of political justification in activist trials
Recent Appeal Court rulings have placed sincerity and remorse at the centre of the courts’ protections of civic rights. Dr Graeme Hayes, Dr Steven Cammiss, Dr Felicity Deamer and Dr Sarah Atkins will carry out a forensic ethnographic, and linguistic analysis of how these concepts are expressed in court.