Call For Papers – Law Text Culture Vol 24 (2020)

Special Issue

Volume 24 (2020)

“The Acoustics of Justice: Law, Listening, Sound”

Guest Editors:

Mehera San Roque (University of New South Wales Law)

Sara Ramshaw (University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Canada)

James Parker (Melbourne Law School)

While the “visual turn” in socio-legal scholarship has generated a rich picture of the significance of the image for and in law, there has been comparatively little attention paid to the equally significant acoustic dimensions of law (Parker 2015). This Special Issue aims to (re)tune the eardrums to the acoustics of law, emphasising the importance of listening and an awareness of the soundscapes of law and legal institutions to our understandings of justice. We are seeking papers addressing a range of legal issues, including Indigenous audibility, judicial decision-making, courtroom testimony, diversely-abled witnesses and participants, and histories of sound in law. The juridical soundscapes offered in this Special Issue will highlight the demand for better, more responsible listening and may call for more extensive training to be provided to legal participants – judges, lawyers, social workers, etc. – such that our ears become open to the various and complex sensory and audio-cultural dimensions of law and justice. The editors welcome submissions in written, visual and audio formats.

We wish to invite scholars with an interest in this broad theme to submit abstracts of around 250 words by 31 October 2019. We will make a provisional selection in early December 2019 and then ask contributors to provide a full draft of their text by 31 March 2020. All scholarly articles are subject to double-blind independent peer review. Final articles accepted for publication should be with the journal by August 2020 for publication in Volume 24 (2020) Law Text Culture.

This Special Issue welcomes submissions on topics such as, but not limited to:

  • Acoustic justice / the acoustics of justice
  • The legislative and other juridical soundscapes
  • Recordings as evidence in courts and hearings (the judicial soundscape)
  • Histories of law, sound and listening
  • Indigenous voices / audibility
  • Songlines as evidence, law or jurisprudence
  • National anthems
  • Earwitnessing
  • Law’s sonic imagination
  • The laws of listening
  • The politics of listening / being listened to
  • The soundscape as lawscape
  • Deep or attentive listening in law
  • Interpreting sound / voices in legal contexts

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and please send your abstract before the 31 October 2019 deadline to