The study of law as a humanities' discipline is concerned with the capacity of human beings to engage with their environment and reform it by the power of imagination expressed through arts which are not scientifically predictable in their operation or susceptible to empirical assessment. In this sense the study of law and humanities is distinct from, albeit compatible with, the study of law as a social science.
Warwick Law School has always been associated with the study of law in context. Until recently, this has entailed an almost exclusive focus upon law in its social, economic and political contexts. Social, economic and political approaches to law remain valuable, but this emphasis has tended to neglect law’s historical connection to the arts of writing, reading, interpretation of text (hermeneutics), representation, performance and persuasion (rhetoric). In response to this, several academics in the law school have endeavoured to develop a distinctive approach to “law in context”; one which seeks to understand law in its cultural setting and to regard it as naturally akin to disciplines in the Arts and Humanities.