Professor Anthony Julius: Inaugural lecture as Chair in Law and the Arts at UCL

Deputy Chairman Professor Anthony Julius, joins UCL in his first lecture as the inaugural Chair in Law and the Arts, the first role of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Leading to his first lecture on 15 March, Anthony commented: “This is a unique opportunity for me to teach and champion literature and the visual arts which is extremely important at a time when artistic freedom is facing increasing censorship in many countries across the world.”

He continued: “Questions such as how we negotiate the relationship between the obligation to be civil and the right to provoke is one that lawyers, but not just lawyers, have to address daily. Artists should interrogate the questions: I don’t think they should be contained by them, but I think they should explore them. Sometimes, in the exploration of the questions, offence is given. That, I think, is a really small price to pay for the pleasure that art gives us.”

Attendees to Anthony’s lecture were introduced to his research project relating to the under-examined aspect of censorship of literature and the visual arts in liberal democracies, due to be published in 2020, he commented: “Art exasperates law, law oppresses art… We cannot dedicate ourselves to both. Law and the arts may say to us: choose, but we can respond: no, we won’t.