A head shot of Jane Williams

Professor Jane Williams

Professor, Legal Studies

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 295815

Research Links

Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Jane’s career spans private practice at the Bar of England and Wales, UK and Welsh Government legal work and professional training, prior to joining Swansea University in 2000. Her academic work features extensive public and policy engagement. She founded and edited the Wales Journal of Law and Public Policy 2001 – 2006 and was pivotally involved in civil society efforts to secure legislation on the rights of the child in Wales and the establishment of the Welsh Youth Parliament. She co-founded the Observatory on Human Rights of Children and secured grant funding to establish the Children’s Legal Centre Wales. From 2014 – 2020 Jane led successive grant-funded projects developing human rights approaches to empowering children as researchers and agents of change. Her innovations in teaching include the introduction of modules on Street Law and Human Rights Approaches to Research with Children. Jane’s academic publications are in the fields of devolution, child law and children’s rights.

Jane holds the following qualifications:

  • MA Cantab, 1978
  • LLM London, 1979
  • Barrister, Inner Temple, called 1980

Areas Of Expertise

  • Public Law
  • Human Rights
  • Legal status and agency of children
  • Participative rights and co-production
  • Law and public policy
  • Public legal education
  • Devolution and multi-level governance
  • Administrative justice

Career Highlights

Teaching Interests

Jane has contributed to team teaching on Public Law, Tort Law, Family Law, Legislative Drafting and Multi-level Governance. She created innovative modules on Street Law, Child Law and Human Rights Approaches to Research with Children. She is currently working to develop interdisciplinary teaching aimed at enhancing current and future professional practitioners’ knowledge and skills for practice on children’s human rights and on dialogical approaches to human rights education as buffer to extremism.


Jane’s current research is in the field of children’s participative rights, democratic and political accountability, legal literacy and human rights education. Having led 6 years of development and practice of a methodology for empowering children as researchers and agents of change, she is now developing a systematic approach to capturing and promoting messages from multiple engagements with children to inform governmental decision-making, democratic scrutiny and human rights monitoring. She is also working on a collaborative research projects examining the impact of Welsh devolution on public policy over two decades, and on the challenges and opportunities of Covid 19 for implementation in practice of children’s participative rights in education and community development.

  • Member of Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group 2002 – 2016 (Chair 2015 – 16).
  • Member/Chair of ROCK (Rights of the Child UK) 2014 – 2016.
  • Coordinator, Swansea Family Court Inter-Disciplinary Forum, 2001 – 2007.
  • Co-founder and Coordinator, Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People 2012 - present.
  • Trustee, Campaign for a Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales (Funky Dragon) 2015 - 2018.
  • Hope for Children UNCRC Policy Chair 2016 - present.