Professor Anna Lawson

Professor Anna Lawson


I have worked at the University of Leeds throughout my academic career. As somebody who is blind, the services of the RNIB and University of Leeds Transcription Centre were a huge draw, and continue to provide me (and others) with invaluable support.

My academic interest in disability and law is rooted in my own experience of life as a disabled person. I am committed to working with disabled people, researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds, and other stakeholders to tackle the persistent forms of disadvantage and exclusion experienced by disabled people all over the world.

I hold membership, trustee and advisory positions in a range of local, national and international disabled people’s and human rights organisations. I also regularly advise policy-makers, governments and intergovernmental organisations. For example, I acted as expert advisor on accessibility for the Council of Europe in connection with its Disability Strategy 2017-2023; was a special advisor to the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee in connection with its inquiry into Disability and the Built Environment 2016-2017; and am a long-standing advisor to the Equality and Human Rights Commission on disability law and policy.

I am very proud to have been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Louvain la Neuve, and to be a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the winner of the 2016 Bob Hepple Memorial Prize for contributions to equality (awarded by the Equal Rights Trust and the Industrial Law Society), an honorary Master of the Bench at Middle Temple, and patron of the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks.


  • Joint Director of the University-wide interdisciplinary Centre for Disability Studies
  • Co-ordinator of the Disability Law Hub

Research interests

My research focuses on disability equality and human rights at the UN, European and domestic level. I am particularly interested in opportunities for change created by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in accessibility, reasonable accommodation and equality, in access to justice and the disabling and enabling potential of law.

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Professor Anna Lawson speaks to Professor Adam Crawford about her research as part of a series of shorts captured by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI).

My current research projects are:

  • Inclusive Public Space (IPS) European Research Council Advanced Grant (project co-ordinator and principal investigator.)

My previous research projects include:

Various commissioned pieces of work for the EU Network of Legal Experts in Gender Equality and Non-Discrimination, including:-

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • LLB Leeds
  • BCL Oxford
  • PhD Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Law and Society Association
  • Middle Temple
  • Society of Visually Impaired Lawyers
  • Access Association

Student education

I currently teach (at undergraduate and postgraduate levels) in the areas of disability law, equality and human rights. I also supervise dissertations and PhDs in these areas.

Research groups and institutes

  • Disability Law Hub
  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>