Professor Anthony Julius on studying both Law and the Arts

Deputy Chairman of Mishcon de Reya and Chair in Law and the Arts at UCL, Professor Anthony Julius, was published by Oxford University Press in Current Legal Problems.

Continuing the themes raised in his inaugural lecture that took place on 15 March, Anthony discusses what it means to study both the Law and the Arts –

What do we study, when we study “Law and the Arts”? Separate out “the arts” into “literature” and “the visual arts.” In the Academy, the relations between law and literature are typically studied thus: (a) the law of literature; (b) literary works that address the law; (c) law as literature. The relations between law and the visual arts figure as a more limited and remote version of this law / literature nexus: (a) art law; (b) art works that address legal themes; (c) law as art. And yet, if we imagine (as we must) law and the arts as distinct systems, correspondences in their content turn out to be apparent only. This article thus questions the received taxonomies, through a close analysis of the two dedications attached by Flaubert to his novel Madame Bovary. The article concludes: “Law and the Arts” as an interdisciplinary undertaking is better understood as a hybrid of two other titles: Law with Arts, Law vs. Arts, that is, Law and Arts United, Law and Arts in Conflict.”

Anthony’s role at UCL examines why functioning societies need both a stable legal system and the arts. He is currently undertaking a research project relating to the censorship of literature and the visual arts in liberal democracies, due to be published in 2020.

Read the full article here (free access)