Lawyering between counselling and adjudication: a sociolinguistic ethnography of the legal assistance to asylum seekers in Belgium

Description: This study aims to investigate how the refugee identity is discursively co-constructed at the intersection of counselling and adjudication in the Belgian asylum procedure. Given the crucial, yet understudied position of lawyers throughout the procedure, the study departs from their perspective to analyse the circulation of discourse across frontstage and backstage asylum encounters. Adopting a sociolinguistic- ethnographic approach, it will examine a) the position of the lawyer on the crossroads between structure (the legal framework) and agency (opportunities to advocate), b) the interactional management of linguistic diversity and c) the impact of meta-communicative work in relation to the frame conditions of front- and backstage interaction. In addition to advancing our insights into the (meta)discursive positioning of the lawyer, the study aims to reduce stakeholders’ linguistic vulnerabilities across the procedure.
Promoter(s): Katrijn Maryns
Researcher(s): Marie Jacobs
Faculty / Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
Period of time: 2022 - 2025