Dr Olaoluwa Olusanya

PhD, PGCert, LLM, LLB (Hons), FHEA


I am currently Reader in Law at the Department of Law and Criminology where I am the Founder and Principal Investigator (Director) of the Veterans Legal Link project and Director of Learning and Teaching. 

I enjoy teaching and research and public and community engagement and undertake several external leadership roles that are reflective of my interests including: Member Office for Veterans' Affairs (OVA) UK Government Academic Advisory Board, Member National Advice Network (NAN) Welsh Government, Member Wales Pro Bono Committee, Member Advance HE Strategic Advisory Group Learning and Teaching, Member Pers Hwb (Personnel Hub) Coordination Panel, British Army (Wales) and Member Ceredigion Armed Forces Community Covenant. I was also a Member of Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre Advisory Group and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Citizens Advice Ceredigion.

Previously, I was the Lead Sentencing American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section International Criminal Justice Standards Task Force and an Elected UK representative of the International Law Association Research Committee on the International Criminal Court. I serve on the Editorial Boards of the Nigerian Yearbook of International Law (Springer) and Race and Justice: An International Journal (SAGE).

As founder of the Family Legal Clinic (FLC), I feel proud that we won the prestigious Highly Commended Award in the Best Contribution by a Pro Bono Clinic category (LawWorks Pro Bono Awards, 2020). I have been shortlisted twice for the National Teaching Fellowship award in recognition of my contributions to clinical legal education (the study of law through real-world legal activities).



My research over the last 20 years has focussed around the armed forces community including serving personnel and veterans and their families (sentencing, substantive criminal law and criminology). In recent years, my work has been underpinned by New Legal Realism (NLR) and has focused on the issues of access to justice for veterans and their families; also extending to the methods used in this field.  

As Principal Investigator for the Veterans Legal Link project, I lead a multi-disciplinary team comprising lawyers, computer scientists and sociologists. As the only project dedicated to veterans free legal advice and specialist support services in the UK, we have been utilising unique service access and data to explore a number of research challenges in the field of access to justice. For example, we recently conducted novel longitudinal investigations of legal-help seeking behaviour among veterans, with a particular focus on the link between time elapsed in seeking help and legal options to address a legal matter. The result of our study highlighted a discrepancy between veterans as a population and the population in general. Only a minority of people in the general population (17 percent take more than three months to obtain legal advice from the time a legal matter arises)(Genn, et al., 2004). Our results found that only 42 percent of the veterans population studied displayed help-seeking behaviour for their legal problems within 26 weeks of the problem arising. This is a significant difference between the general population and military veterans and has significant implications for the direction of future research and policy. Finally, we are also conducting a large-scale longitudinal study involving administering a wellbeing survey pre and post receipt of legal advice provided by the VLL so as to measure the impact on wellbeing. 

My research has attracted funding from various funders including the National Lottery Community Fund, The Royal British Legion and the Ministry of Defence. The Veterans Legal Link project relies on an extensive network of stakeholders and partner organisations so as to meet the complex needs of vulnerable veterans and their families. In order to better meet these complex needs, the project used participatory action research approaches to develop Auxilium Software Portal- the UK's first access to justice platform for veterans.


Founder and Principal Investigator (Director) of the Veterans Legal Link project and Director of Learning and Teaching. 

Office Hours (Student Contact Times)

  • Tuesday 13.00-14.00
  • Friday 11.00-12.00


Collier, W, Olusanya, O, Griffith, G, Knapp, VJ, Šmid, L & Snook, C 2023, 'Legal help-seeking behaviour among veterans: the link between time elapsed in seeking help and legal options to address a legal matter', International Journal of the Legal Profession, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 23-35. 10.1080/09695958.2023.2190897
Olusanya, O, Collier, W, Marshall, S, Knapp, VJ & Baldwin, A 2022, 'Access to Justice software development, Participatory Action Research Methods and Researching the Lived Experiences of British Military Veterans', Journal of Legal Research Methodology, vol. 2, no. 1. <https://www.northumbriajournals.co.uk/index.php/jlrm/article/view/1240>
Olusanya, O, Collier, W, Marshall, S, Knapp, VJ & Baldwin, A 2022, 'Enhancing Digitally-Mediated Human-Centred Design With Digitally-Mediated Community Based Participatory Research Approaches for the Development of a Digital Access-to-Justice Platform for Military Veterans and Their Families', Journal of Participatory Research Methods, vol. 3, no. 2. 10.35844/001c.37039
Olusanya, O 2021, 'Comorbid British veteran offenders: Themes in judges’ sentencing remarks', The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology , vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 107-118. 10.1080/14789949.2020.1831576
Olusanya, O & Knapp, VJ 2021, Veterans Legal Link Equal recovery report: Written evidence submitted to the UK Parliamentary Treasury Committee . UK Parliament . <https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/37221/pdf/ >
More publications on the Research Portal