Professor Peter French

Peter FrenchProfessor Peter French (BEd, BLing, PhD, FRSA, FIOA) is the UK’s most experienced expert in the field of forensic speech and acoustics and is chairman of JP French Associates.  He has worked in the field for 30 years and, as well as carrying out research, has been involved in implementing quality regulation and accreditation for forensic speech science.

He is the President and a founding member of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA), and editor of the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law and holds a number of offices in organisations in the discipline.

Case Experience

Prof French has provided evidence in thousands of cases across the whole range of forensic speech and audio.  His evidence has been for UK Crown Courts and courts across the world, including: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Mauritius, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States of America.  He has worked on cases heard by the International War Crimes Tribunal and the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.


1975 – Cert Ed (Distinction) English & Education, University of Leeds
1976 – BEd (Hons) English & Education, University of Leeds
1977 – BLing (Distinction) Linguistics with Phonetics, University of Manchester
1977 – International Phonetic Association Certificate in English Phonetics
1982 – PhD Analysis of recorded conversation, University of Bristol


1989 – present: Chairman of J P French Associates Forensic Speech & Acoustics Laboratory, York
2015 – present: Professor of Forensic Speech Science, Dept of Language & Linguistic Science, University of York
2017 – present: Visiting Professor of Forensic Speech Science, Dept of Linguistics & Modern Languages, Univ of Huddersfield
2019 – present: Professorial Fellow and Executive Board member, Centre for Forensic Phonetics & Acoustics, University of Zurich
2019 – present: Visiting Professor, Department of Languages and Linguistics, York St John University
2007-2014- Honorary Professor, Dept of Language & Linguistic Science, University of York
1976-1978 – Phonetic Fieldworker (part-time) Atlas Linguarum Europae, Dept of English Language, Folklore and Cultural Tradition, University of Sheffield
1977-1980 – Research Assistant on Language at Home and at School project, Dept of Education, University of Bristol
1980-1989 – Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Language Studies, St John’s College York (now York St John University)
2006-2007 – Visiting Professor, Dept of Language & Linguistic Science, University of York


2006-present – President of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics
1994-present – Editor (Phonetics & Acoustics) International Journal of Speech Language & the Law
1999-2008 – UK Secretary of the International Society for Phonetic Sciences
2010-present – Member of Court of the University of York
2010-present – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics – Government initiative) Ambassador
Editorial Board member Loquens: Spanish Journal of Speech Sciences
2012-present – Advisory Board member Babel – the Magazine about Language

1991-2006 – Chairman of International Association for Forensic Phonetics & Acoustics
2008-closure of CRFP in 2009 – Lead Assessor for subject specialties Forensic Speech and Audio Analysis, Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners
2012-present – Chairman of UK Home Office Regulator’s group on Forensic Speech and Audio Analysis


Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
Fellow of the International Society for Phonetic Sciences


Founder Member of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics & Acoustics
Member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists
Member of the International Phonetic Association
Member of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians
Member of Bayes and the Law Group (Queen Mary, University of London)


Lifetime Achievement Award for services to forensic phonetics, Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics, 2018
Honorary Life Membership of The International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (only 4 other such awards made in the history of the organisation), 2016

Publications and presentations

Prof French has presented internationally and published widely in the field of forensic phonetics and acoustics, a selection of recent publications and presentations can be seen in his CV: Prof Peter French CV


Peter French has provided in-house training seminars and practical instruction in analytic techniques to scientific and technical staff of the Metropolitan Police in London and the FBI and United States Secret Service in Washington DC.  Prof French and J P French Associates also have provided staff training, including work placements and shadowing opportunities, to the Netherlands Forensic Institute.

Further to this, he supervises a number of research students:
Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York
2007-present – Eleven MSc dissertations supervised
2008-present – Supervision of 6 PhD students
2009-present  – Thesis advisory panel (TAP) member for 4 PhD students

Dept of Linguistics, Rice University, Houston, Texas
2008-2011 – TAP member for 1 PhD student


Prof French has appeared widely in television and radio broadcasts on his area of expertise and was in 2002 presenter of the Sony Silver Award winning Radio 3 broadcast entitled Extraneous Noises Off, which also received the BBC nomination for Prix Italia.  Recent media appearances:

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Peter French – CV