Julius is known for his opposition to new antisemitism, the expression of antisemitic prejudice couched in terms of certain kinds of discursive assaults on Israel, and gives frequent talks on the subject all over the world to raise awareness. He is a founding member of both Engage and the Euston Manifesto. In 2011 he became chairman of the board of The Jewish Chronicle.
The son of a London menswear retailer, who died young from a brain tumour, Julius was educated at the City of London School. Julius studied English literature at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1977 with a first class degree, and completed a Ph.D. in English literature at University College London under the novelist and academic Dan Jacobson. He joined the Bloomsbury law firm Mishcon de Reya in 1981, becoming a partner in 1984. Currently he is Deputy Chairman to that firm.
Julius is a commercial litigator. He is a specialist in the fields of defamation, international trade disputes, and media law. He has been a solicitor advocate since at least 2001, which allows him to act as a barrister insofar as he can now appear in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
He was selected by Diana, Princess of Wales, as her legal representative in her divorce from Prince Charles.
He represented Deborah Lipstadt, successfully defending her in Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt, with Richard Rampton QC, against a libel suit brought against her by Holocaust denier David Irving. Lipstadt and her publishers were vindicated by the Judge's ruling in April 2000.
Julius is an Advisory Editor at the current affairs journal Fathom.
He has been a part-time lecturer at the Law Faculty of University College London. He is Chairman of the London Consortium and a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London.
He has written a number of books on various topics, including his PhD thesis, in which he charged T. S. Eliot with anti-semitism.
He is Vice-President of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, and was one of the charity's founders and its first Chairman.
Julius has promised to defend individuals and institutions affected by the most recent proposed academic boycott of Israeli universities. Writing in The Guardian, in an article co-authored with historian Simon Schama, Julius compared the academic boycott to policies adopted by Nazi Germany, noting "This is not the first boycott call directed at Jews. On 1 April 1933, a week after he came to power, Hitler ordered a boycott of Jewish shops, banks, offices and department stores." He considers the proposition unfair for singling out Israel as "uniquely evil" among nations, and said he would be delighted to act to protect those who, for example, face contractual difficulties as a result of any boycott.
In 2008, Julius was critical of a signed statement by Independent Jewish Voices, a liberal group, for Israel to lift its economic blockade of the Gaza Strip. Julius said "It is by no means unarguable that Israel is right to treat Gaza as an enemy territory. It is hard to see on what basis Israel's actions can be seen as a violation and only one or two of the signatories could grapple with issues involved."
In 2012-3, Julius acted for Mr Ronnie Fraser in his action alleging that the UCU was institutionally anti-Semitic. The suit was dismissed in its totality and strongly criticised by the Tribunal as “an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means” and a case which showed a “worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression”.
He married Judith Bernie in 1979; the couple had four children, but later divorced. In 1999, he married Dina Rabinovitch and had one child with her. Rabinovitch died in 2007 from breast cancer. In 2009, he married Katarina Lester, and is step-father to her two children. They had a son together in 2011.T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form (1st edition Cambridge University Press 1995, 2nd edition Thames & Hudson 2003), based on his PhD thesis
Idolising Pictures (Thames & Hudson 2000).
Transgressions: The Offences of Art (Thames & Hudson 2002).
"Art Crimes", in Law and Literature (Oxford University Press 1999) and in Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture (Ridinghouse 2003).
Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Oxford University Press 2010). ISBN 978-0-19-929705-4.