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Acoustic JurisprudenceListening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi$
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James E K Parker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735809

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735809.001.0001

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The ICTR as Soundscape

The ICTR as Soundscape

Chapter:
(p.180) 8 The ICTR as Soundscape
Source:
Acoustic Jurisprudence
Author(s):

James E K Parker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735809.003.0009

This chapter considers the soundscape of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) itself. It shows how soundproofing has become a condition of international legal practice and how the international courtroom has become increasingly compartmentalized acoustically such that headphones are now virtually a condition of participation. In the international context, this can be traced to the introduction of ‘simultaneous interpretation’, which was first conceived and put into practice at Nuremberg. Since then, its effects on the conduct of legal proceedings have been considerable. In particular, the practice of interpretation radically changes the nature of legal eloquence. It gives courtroom orality a peculiar tempo, rhythm, and accent, and requires practitioners to listen increasingly with their eyes as well as their ears. The chapter ends with a consideration of broadcasting and archival practices at the ICTR and argues that these are contributing to an important shift in the nature of the judicial soundscape.

Keywords:   courtroom, soundscape, ICTR, simultaneous interpretation, courtroom, Nuremberg trials, headphones, microphone, architecture

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