Director: Law, Sound and the International at the Institute for International Law and the Humanities
James Parker joined the Law School as a Lecturer in July 2013. Prior to that he completed his BA in Jurisprudence at University College, Oxford, an LLM by research at McGill University, and a PhD at the Melbourne Law School. His research focuses on the relations between law and sound, with a particular emphasis on international criminal law and the law of war. He is currently a junior faculty member at the Harvard Law School Instititue for Global Law and Policy Workshop and has previously taught at the University of Wollongong, the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University as well as on the Law School's Masters programme.
James' forthcoming book Acoustic Jurisprudence: Listening to the Trial of Simon Bikindi (OUP 2015) explores the trial of Simon Bikindi, who was accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of inciting genocide with his songs. The book develops two main threads: one substantive, the other methodoligical. Substantively, it is the first detailed study of a trial of considerable legal, historical and musicological importance, both to Rwandans and to the wider international community. Methodologically, the book examines a dimension of legal thought and practice that is scarcely ever remarked upon. Sound is a condition of the administration of justice, and yet as a community of jurists we have become deaf to law and to the problem of the acoustic. The book argues therefore for a specifically acoustic jurisprudence, an orientation towards law and the practice of judgment attuned to questions of sound and listening.
James' most recent project The Jurisprudence of Sonic Warfare - for which he received an Early Career Research Grant (2015) - explores the weaponisation of sound across three main sites: the battlefield, the torture chamber and the city.
The Melbourne JD
Melbourne Law Masters
Memberships and Affiliations
Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia - Member and web officer