When Law Listens

  • Simon Rose Glasgow Caledonian University
Keywords: Law, Improvisation, Child Protection, Listening, Music, Interdisciplinary


For the court and processes of child protection the course of events and outcomes are not known before hand - responsiveness, temporal sensitivity, adaptability, creativity, all features of improvisation, are necessarily apparent in seeking just outcomes. In this way, the experience of those engaged in the urgent process of child protection offers a real-world account of improvisation in action. One in which there may be great cost to individuals and families. At the heart of this process is listening and the quality, nature and intent of such listening is critically discussed. The surprisingly “myriad out-workings,” the need for “bespoke solutions” together with the understanding of listening emerge as key features of law and improvisation. The distinct articulations of this process become an inter-disciplinary description of improvisation that is of value for practice in music and the breadth of improvisation research.