Criteria for earwitness lineups


  • Harry Hollien University of Florida
  • Ruth Huntley University of South Carolina
  • Hermann Kunzel Bundeskriminalamt
  • Patricia A. Hollien University of South Florida



Earwitness lineups, voice parades, speaker identification.


The problems associated with earwitness lineups, or voice parades, are of growing concern. First, they are becoming more common; second, they are being conducted by individuals who are not competent to carry them out; third, no adequate criteria for their proper use have been published. In response, the membership of the International Association of Forensic Phonetics have undertaken to review the specific elements associated with this problem, identify their nature/extent and establish criteria for their proper construction and use. The first stage has been to present a series of formal papers on the subject (see text) and the second to provide this summary review of the problem and its background. The third stage has been to constitute an IAFP working committee charged with the development of a set of criteria for consideration by the full membership at the 1995 conference (Orlando, Florida). If the IAFP membership adopts these criteria, they will be published. Finally, the members of this new committee are A. P. A. Broeders (Netherlands), P. French (UK) , H. Hollien (USA), R. Huntley (USA) and H. Kunzel (Germany).

Author Biographies

Harry Hollien, University of Florida

HARRY HOLLIEN has a Ph.D., B.Sc. and M.Ed. from Boston University, and an MA and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is Professor of Linguistics, Speech and Criminal Justice and Founding Director at the Institute for Advanced Study of the Communication Processes, University of Florida. Currently, he is President of the International Society of Phonetic Sciences, and was the first president of the American Association of Phonetic Sciences. He is the author of The Acoustics of Crime (New York: Plenum Press).

Ruth Huntley, University of South Carolina

RUTH HUNTLEY is now an assistant professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, USA. She earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Phonetics from the University of Florida in 1987. In addition, Dr Huntley has served as an expert witness in numerous court trials involving tapes and voice identification. Her current research interests include the acoustics of dialects, voice identification, communication by and between elders and speech timing.

Hermann Kunzel, Bundeskriminalamt

HERMANN KUNZEL (D.Phil., Kiel; Habil, Trier) has published widely on aspects of forensic phonetics. He is Associate Professor at the Institute of Phonetics at the University of Marburg and Head of the Speaker Identification and Tape Authentication Department of the Bundeskriminalamt, Wiesbaden.

Patricia A. Hollien, University of South Florida

PATRICIA A. HOLLIEN, Sc.D., is Director of Forensic Communication Associates, Gainesville, Florida, and the editor of The Phonetician, the magazine of the International Society of Phonetic Sciences. She is former Associate-in Research at the Institute for Advanced Study of the Communication Sciences, University of Florida. Her casework interests include speaker identification and verification, acoustics, language analysis and seminars and consulting on tape recorded evidence.



How to Cite

Hollien, H., Huntley, R., Kunzel, H., & Hollien, P. A. (2013). Criteria for earwitness lineups. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 2(2), 143–153.