This chapter introduces the Bikindi case along with the book’s main argument. It suggests that questions of sound and listening have been seriously neglected in contemporary legal scholarship and that there is a need, therefore, for a specifically acoustic jurisprudence. As a community of legal thinkers and practitioners, this chapter suggests, we must teach ourselves to listen to law, to attend properly to questions of sound in the administration of justice. The chapter then explains why the Bikindi case provides such a rich starting point in this respect. All legal thought and practice necessarily takes place in and in relation to sound, but what makes Bikindi’s trial particularly compelling for an acoustic jurisprudence is the extent to which it dramatizes this fact. The chapter ends with an overview of the book’s structure.
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