Earwitness identification


When a witness claims to have heard a voice, or to have recognised a speaker, scientific testing can be required to establish the veracity and reliability of their claim.  This might be in establishing the witness’ ability in recognising voices or in constructing ‘voice parades’ or ‘voice line-ups’.


In a voice parade, much like an identity parade, witnesses are required to select a voice from a selection of dummy voices.  J P French Associates can provide consultation, training and advice for police and security agencies in these cases.  There are recommendations for best practice in carrying out these kinds of exercises.  We can provide training and advice on how to meet these, as well as recording or providing ‘foil’ voice recordings for voice parades.  We are able to test parades for validity, which is a requirement of the recommendations.  We can also provide advice on all matters relating to ‘ear-witnesses’.

In some cases, it might be necessary to perform tests to establish whether a witness could have heard a voice or a sound.  We can also provide this acoustic reconstruction service.


Examples where we have provided consultation are presented in the cases archive.

Further information

Other terms include: lay witness, voice parade, voice ID, voice line-up, MacFarlane guidelines