Rob Wilks

  • Senior Lecturer in Law
  • Faculty of Creative Industries
Rob Wilks

About Me

Originally from Newport, I am a Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user and teach through the medium of BSL.

I have a BA (Hons) degree in History, and commenced my legal training by completing the Graduate Diploma in Law in 2002 and the Legal Practice Course in 2003. I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 following a secondment to South West London Law Centres and Hugh James Solicitors whilst employed by the Royal Association for Deaf people.

On an academic level, I achieved a LLM with Distinction in Law of Employment Relations with the University of Leicester in 2007 and was awarded a doctorate in 2020 by the University of Leicester exploring whether equality law is working for Deaf people and whether sign language recognition will achieve transformative equality.

My specialist area of law is Equality Law and Employment Law, and I am module leader for these optional modules on the LLB programmes.

My research interests – aside from employment and equality law – include deaf employment, sign language recognition, the role of deaf NGOs, international human rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I am also passionate about the benefits of clinical legal education and am a strong advocate of clinical work being on par with teaching and research in HE institutions.

More information about me can be found here:

Pure Profile Link

Skills And Qualifications

  • Solicitor
  • Employment law
  • Equality law
  • Human rights
  • Legal ethics
  • Legal skills


  • Spending time with my family
  • Sleeping
  • Eating out
  • Watching TV/films
  • Reading fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary fiction


  • Sign language recognition
  • Theories of equality
  • Equality law
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Critical disability theory
  • Deaf Legal Theory
  • Legal ethics
  • Teaching through BSL
  • Deaf people and the legal system
  • Employee status
  • BSL/English Interpreting in the legal system
  • Criminal justice for Deaf people
  • International human rights

Publications And Past Projects

  • Deaf Education in Scotland and Wales (with Rachel O’Neill, University of Edinburgh)
  • British Sign Language Glossary of Curriculum for Wales, Welsh Government
  • EmployDeaf: employment opportunities for deaf people in the UK (with Dr Dai O'Brien, York St John University) - funding bid in process
  • Deaf Criminal Justice (with Professor Jemina Napier and Dr Robert Skinner, Heriot Watt University) - funding bid in process
  • DeafOrg: NGO representation of the deaf community in the UK in pursuance of a national British Sign Language Act (with Elizabeth Bailey, University of South Wales) - literature review in process