Dr Rob Wilks

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  • Qualifications:BA (Hons), PGDipL, PGDipLP, LLM, PGCDPPHE, FHEA, PhD
  • Position:Senior Lecturer in Law
  • Department:Bristol Law School
  • Telephone:+4411732 81588
  • Email:Rob.Wilks@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo Twitter logo Facebook logo

About me

Originally from Newport, South Wales, I am deaf and fluent in British Sign Language (BSL) and English and teach through BSL.  I teach employment law and legal skills on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at UWE.

I was previously Senior Lecturer and Legal Practice Course Leader at the University of South Wales, and Lecturer in Professional Law at Cardiff University.

After achieving a LLM with Distinction in Law of Employment Relations in 2007, I 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.

I am currently working on a monograph due to be published by Hart Publishing in March 2026 titled 'Challenging Equality Law: The Deaf Legal Dilemma'.  

I am Principal Investigator for the 'Co-Producing Deaf Legal Theory' project funded by UWE's AHRC Impact Acceleration Account scheme, and a Co-Investigator with Dr Christopher Shank at Bangor University and others on the £1.02million 'Tackling Health Inequalities with and for the Deaf BSL-using Communities in Wales' project.

Area of expertise

I have an interest in equality and anti-discrimination law as it relates to deaf people, language law and sign language recognition and am currently focused on developing Deaf Legal Theory as a new perspective in legal jurisprudence.

I am involved in deaf education research, having published two reports with Rachel O’Neill at the University of Edinburgh looking at the impact of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 and comparing Welsh- and Gaelic-medium education with that of BSL, putting forward recommendations on how to ensure BSL is taught as part of the new Curriculum for Wales.  We are currently looking at ethical dilemmas for Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People and in the process of publishing our research findings.


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