Human rights consultant Dan Mori has delivered the keynote speech at a Language, Diversity and Global Security symposium at RMIT.
The symposium brought together experts and authors from around Australia to highlight emerging areas for research, training and professional development in issues related to security in diverse environments.
In his keynote speech, Mr Mori, who was the military lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, said: "Language and culture issues are now part of any investigation, interrogation or prosecution, be it a small compensation claim by an affected villager in one part of the world or a trial at international courts or tribunals."
Sedat Mulayim, program manager of Translating and Interpreting at RMIT, said: "Global security is in the centre of global agenda in an unprecedented scale.
"Security issues are not confined to borders or communities or individuals anymore.
"This is evident in the types of security issues since September 11, which increasingly involve multilingual and multicultural settings. This was not an issue for consideration in the Cold War decades."
Presenters highlighted a range of highly specialised issues from online hate speech, fighting organised crime to the need for training and specialisation in forensic translation and interpreting issues in language services.
In her presentation, RMIT lecturer Miranda Lai argued: "The way police agencies communicate with people who do not speak the common language may need to be revisited, perhaps by creating a controlled language for police interviews and information, to minimise ambiguities and improve transferability across linguistic and cultural divides."
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