Prof John Robert Williams

LLB Wales, LLB Cantab, Barrister-at-Law

Prof John Robert Williams


Contact Details



My research interests concentrate on the impact of the law on older people. The fact that we are living longer is very often portrayed as 'a problem' and we constantly hear reference to the 'demographic time bomb'.

Ageism is a deeply regrettable feature of modern living. As with any other form of discrimination, it is demeaning and abusive. Ageism is prevalent in the public and private sectors; older people are discriminated against in the provision of services. People who are not 'old' (whatever that may mean) fear the ageing process and see older people as an image of what they may be like in years to come, without recognising the pleasure of living longer and the important contribution that older people make to the economic, social and cultural life of society.

A particularly disturbing example of ageism is the fact that significant numbers of older people are subjected to some form of abuse. A recent study funded by Comic Relief found that prevalence of elder abuse in Wales is 6%, Scotland 4.3%, and Northern Ireland 3%.

Recently I have been working on the rights of older prisoners. Although relatively small in number, the over sixties are the fasting growing sector of the prison population. To what extent does the prison system recognise the rights of older people to health care and social care? Are prisons and prison regimes aware of special needs that some older prisoners may have? To what extent are the human rights of older prisoners being violated by the belief that there is some kind of iron curtain between human rights and the prison system?

Although a legal approach to these and other issues relating to older people is not the solution, law does have a role to play in improving the lives of older people and eradicating ageism and promoting social exclusion. My research explores some of the areas where law can work for the


Adult safeguarding in Wales: one step in the right directionWilliams, J. 2017 In : Journal of Adult Protection.19, 4, p. 175-18612 p.
'An International Convention on the Rights of Older People? A needless distraction or a long overdue reform?Williams, J. 2016
Safeguarding & Devolution: UK Perspectives’Williams, J. 2016
Access to Justice for Victims/Survivors of Elder Abuse: A Qualitative StudyClarke, A., Williams, J. & Wydall, S. 2016 In : Social Policy and Society.15, 2, p. 207-22014 p.
A Welsh Model of Commissioners?Sherlock, A., Royles, E. & Williams, J. 2016 In : Cambrian Law Review.45 (2014)
Intimate relationships between older people in institutional settings: Ageism, protection or fear.Williams, J. 2015 In : Ethics, Medicine and Public Health.1, 2, p. 194-2029 p.
Clarke, A., Williams, J, Wydall, S. (2015) ‘Access to justice for victims of elder abuse’ Social Policy & Society Cambridge Journal (first view) pp.1-14Wydall, S., Williams, J. & Clarke, A. 2015 In : Social Policy and Society.p. 114 p.
Law Making in a Devolved Wales: Work in ProgressWilliams, J. 2014 In : Legal Information Management.14, 4, p. 266-276
Adult Social Care Law in EnglandWilliams, J., Roberts, G. & Griffiths, A. 2014 Basingstoke: Springer Nature. 216 p. (Reshaping Social Work)
Social care and older prisonersWilliams, J. 2013 In : Journal of Social Work.13, 5, p. 471-49121 p.
Protecting older victims of abuse who lack capacity: the role of the Independent Mental Capacity AdvocateWilliams, J., Wydall, S. & Clarke, A. 2013 In : Elder Law Journal.3, 2, p. 167-1748 p.
When I'm sixty-four: Lawyers, Law and 'Old Age'Williams, J. R. 2013 In : Cambrian Law Review.34, p. 103-12018 p.
An Evaluation of the ‘Access to Justice’ Pilot Project.Clarke, A. H., Wydall, S., Williams, J. R. & Boaler, R. R. 2012 Welsh Government. 71 p.
A New Law on Adult Social Care: A Challenge for Law Reform in WalesWilliams, J. 2012 In : Statute Law Review.33, 2, p. 304-2218 p.
Reforming the law of social care in WalesWilliams, J. 2012 In : EnvisAGE.9, p. 19-213 p.
Protection of older people in Wales: A guide to the LawWilliams, J. R. 2011 88 p.Cardiff : Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
An International Convention on the Rights of Older People?Williams, J. R. 2011 Emerging areas of human rights in the 21st century: the role of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Odello, M. & Cavandoli, S. (eds.). New York: Taylor & Francis, p. 128-14821 p.
Care Home Design and Human RightsWilliams, J. 2011 In : Elder Law Journal.1, 4, p. 395-402
A comparison of North American and British Codes of Ethics for PsychologistsWilliams, J. & Drogin, E. 2010 In : Cambrian Law Review.41, p. 73-8513 p.
The emerging need for a Welsh jurisdiction.Williams, J. 2010 In : Agenda.42, p. 41-434 p.
Fifty, the new sixty? The Health and Social Care of Older PrisonersWilliams, J. 2010 In : Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.11, 3, p. 16-2410 p.
Elder Abuse: Criminological perspectiveWilliams, J. 2010 Handbook on Crime. Brookman, F., Maguire, M., Pierpoint, H. & Bennett, T. (eds.). Willan Publishing, p. 415-42612 p.
Elder Abuse: An opportunity for Wales?Williams, J. 2009 In : EnvisAGE.8, p. 4-63 p.
Law Reform: A Law Commission for WalesWilliams, J. 2009 In : Agenda.p. 19-224 p.
State Responsibility and the abuse of vulnerable older people: Is there a case for a public law to protect vulnerable older people from abuse?Williams, J. R. 2008 Responsibility, Law and Family. Bridgeman, J., Keating, H. & Lind, C. (eds.). London: Taylor & Francis, p. 81-10525 p.
Child Protection and the Criminal Justice SystemWilliams, J. 2007 The Child Protection Handbook. Wilson, K. & James, A. (eds.). 3e ed.Elsevier, p. 362-37624 p.
Restorative Justice: The Influence of Psychology from a Jurisprudent Therapy PerspectiveDrogin, E., Howard, M. E. & Williams, J. 2005 Handbook of Psychology in Legal Contexts: Carson/Psychology in Legal Contexts. Carson, D. & Bull, R. (eds.). Chichester, UK: Wiley, p. 423-448
An Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: Promoting Human Rights and social inclusion for older people Williams, J. 2005 In : Wales Journal of Law and Policy.4, 1, p. 87-10014 p.
Social Work, Liberty and LawWilliams, J. 2004 In : British Journal of Social Work.34, 1, p. 37-5216 p.
A New Advocate for Older PeopleWilliams, J. 2004 In : Agenda.p. 62-643 p.
Public Law Protection of Vulnerable Adults: The Debate Continues, So Does the AbuseWilliams, J. 2002 In : Journal of Social Work.2, 3, p. 293-31624 p.
The Queen on the Application of Mellor v Secretary of State for the Home Department: Prisoners and Artificial Insemination - Have the Courts got it right?Williams, J. 2002 In : Child and Family Law Quarterly.14, 2, p. 217-22812 p.
Vulnerable Adults: Confidentiality and Inter-disciplinary WorkingWilliams, J. & Williams, K. S. 2001 Healthcare Law: Impact of the Human Rights Act 1998. Garwood-Gowers, A., Tingle, J. & Lewis, T. (eds.). Harlow: Taylor & Francis, p. 147-16216 p.
Hunger Strikes: A Prisoner's right or a 'Wicked Folly'?Williams, J. 2001 In : Howard Journal of Criminal Justice.40, 3, p. 285-29612 p.
1998 Human Rights Act: Social Work's New BenchmarkWilliams, J. R. 2001 In : British Journal of Social Work.31, 6, p. 831-84414 p.
The crime and disorder act 1998: Conflicting roles for the appropriate adultWilliams, J. 2000 In : Criminal Law Review.p. 911-92010 p.
The inappropriate adultWilliams, J. 2000 In : Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.22, 1, p. 43-5715 p.
Elder Abuse and the LawWilliams, J., Roberts, G. & Griffiths, A. 1997 The Mistreatment of Elderly People. Glendenning, F. & Decalmer, P. (eds.). Second ed. London: SAGE Publications, p. 62-7514 p.
Social Services LawWilliams, J. 1995 2nd Revised ed.Elsevier. 450 p.
Elder abuse and access to lawWilliams, J. 1995 In : Journal of the British Association of Services to the Elderly.p. 20-267 p.
Legal Provision in the Rural Environment: Legal Services, Criminal Justice and Welfare Provision in Rural AreasHarding, C. (ed.) & Williams, J. (ed.) 1994 Cardiff: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press. 152 p.
Community Care: the Law and Rural Areas.Williams, J. 1994 Legal Provision in the Rural Environment: Legal Services, Criminal Justice and Welfare Provision in Rural Areas. Harding, C. & Williams, J. (eds.). Cardiff: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru | University of Wales Press, p. 121-13717 p.
Contact and Care: The Dichotomy ResolvedWilliams, J. 1994 In : Tolley's Journal of Child Law.6, p. 43-464 p.
A role for a support person for child witnesses in criminal proceedingsMorgan, J. & Williams, J. 1993 In : British Journal of Social Work.23, 2, p. 113-1219 p.
The use of an expert system shell to present the mental health act to social workersHartley, R. J., Morris, S. & Williams, J. 1993 In : Information and Communications Technology Law.2, 3, p. 243-25412 p.
Interagency Work with the ElderlyWilliams, J. 1993 In : Journal of the British Association of Services to the Elderly.53, p. 25-295 p.
Child witnesses and the legal processMorgan, J. & Williams, J. 1992 In : Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.14, 6, p. 484-496
Legal Capacity and Older PeopleWilliams, J. 1992 Sharpening the Instrument: the Law and Older People. Griffiths, A., Roberts, G. & Williams, J. (eds.). London: Uned Hyfforddi Base Cymru, p. 30-4617 p.
Working Together IIWilliams, J. 1992 In : Tolley's Journal of Child Law.4, p. 68
Supporting Child WitnessesWilliams, J. 1992 The Magistrate, 47, p. 40-434 p.
The Patient's Right to DecideWilliams, J. 1992 In : Journal of the British Association of Services to the Elderly.47, p. 40-434 p.
Private FosteringWilliams, J. 1992 Law Society Gazette, p. 23-242 p.
The Children Act 1989: the public lawWilliams, J. 1991 London: Fourmat Publishing. 94 p. (Current Legal Topics)
Legal Information for living: The role of information technology.Williams, J. & Hartley, R. 1991 Information Technology and the Individual. Meadows, A. J. (ed.). First ed. London: Cengage Learning, p. 26-5328 p.
Post-admission legal education and solicitors in rural walesSalter, D. & Williams, J. 1991 In : Law Teacher.25, 2, p. 132-14110 p.
Parental Contact with Children in CareWilliams, J. 1991 In : Journal of Child Law.3, p. 131-1344 p.
Community Care PlansWilliams, J. 1991 In : Journal of the British Association of Services to the Elderly.46, p. 35-373 p.
A Consumer Survey of General Medical Services in Llanelli and CardiganWilliams, J. & Morgan, J. 1991 Prifysgol Aberystwyth | Aberystwyth University. 98 p.
Treaties and Municipal LawWilliams, J. 1990 United Kingdom Law in the 1990's. Gardner, J. P. (ed.). London: United Kingdom National Committee of Comparative Law, Vol. 10, p. 255-26915 p.
The Law of Mental HealthWilliams, J. 1990 Croydon: Fourmat Publishing. 260 p.
The Enforcement of Access OrdersWilliams, J. 1990 In : Journal of Child Law.2, p. 88-902 p.
Protecting the Child VictimWilliams, J. 1990 In : Police Studies: Intnl Review of Police Development.p. 592-5932 p.
Children in care placements with parentsWilliams, J. 1989 Law Society Gazette, 86, 25
Custodianship and AdoptionWilliams, J. 1988 In : Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.10, 4, p. 250-26213 p.
Pace and Confidential InformationWilliams, J. 1988 In : Journal of Criminal Law.52, 2, p. 201-21111 p.
Legal Education: Outreach to the Professions and the CommunityWilliams, J., Harding, C. & Ireland, R. 1988 In : Law Librarian.19, 1, p. 2731 p.
Child Abuse: The problem of accessWilliams, J. 1988 In : Law Society Gazette.85, 26, p. 26-283 p.
Separate Representation: Should children have their own lawyers? Williams, J. 1986 In : Justice of the Peace.150, 44, p. 697-6993 p.
Police Complaints under PaceWilliams, J., Baxter, J. & Rawlings, P. 1986 In : Journal of Criminal Law.50, 2, p. 178-1858 p.
PACE: Protecting the SuspectWilliams, J., Baxter, J. & Rawlings, P. 1986 In : Journal of Criminal Law.50, 1, p. 68-758 p.
Arrest—A New Balance?Baxter, J., Rawlings, P. & Williams, J. 1985 In : Journal of Criminal Law.49, 4, p. 358-3669 p.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act and the PressWilliams, J. 1985 Police: The Constitution and the Community. Baxter, J. & Koffman, L. (eds.). Elsevier, p. 219-23618 p.
Pace: Safeguards—Real or Imagined?Williams, J., Baxter, J. & Rawlings, P. 1985 In : Journal of Criminal Law.49, 2, p. 164-1729 p.
Marital Rape: The CLRC ProposalsWilliams, J. 1985 In : Family Law.15, p. 99-1013 p.
Marital Rape: Time for ReformWilliams, J. 1984 In : New Law Journal.134, 6137, p. 26-283 p.
Victim RefusalWilliams, J. 1984 In : Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.35, 4, p. 386-3927 p.
Stare Decisis and the Doctrine of Incorporation of Customary International lawWilliams, J. 1983 In : Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.34, 2, p. 166-1738 p.
Treaties and the Common LawWilliams, J. 1982 In : New Law Journal Supplement.p. 463-4653 p.
Changing the Emphasis in Family LawWilliams, J. 1981 In : Cambrian Law Review.12, p. 60-7516 p.
The Taxation of Married CouplesWilliams, J. 1981 In : Family Law.11, 6, p. 169-1735 p.
Void Marriages and the Co-ownership of the Matrimonial HomeWilliams, J. 1979 In : Family Law.9, 6, p. 176-1794 p.