Oliver Lewis

Contact details

For media and other interviews, contact mdac@mdac.org. Follow Oliver’s tweets @olewis75 and read his blog at www.mdac.org/OliverTalks



Dr Oliver Lewis is an international human rights lawyer with fifteen years' experience at the interface of mental health, intellectual disability and human rights. He is CEO of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, an international human rights NGO that uses the law to secure equality, inclusion and justice. He is an Associate Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London, and a Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law, University of Leeds. 


Oliver is an experienced human rights advocate, and has overseen strategies that have held both international bodies and national governments account for the human rights commitments they have made. Oliver has experience working with a variety of mechanisms, including UN treaty bodies, UN Special Rapporteurs, the European Commission and Parliament, the Venice Commission, and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. He is an experienced public speaker and trainer, and has worked with disabled people’s organisations, human rights activists, inspectorates, lawyers and judges in all continents of the world (ok, except Antarctica). 

Teaching and publications 

Oliver is a quarter-time Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law, University of Leeds and a member of its Disability Law Hub. Since 2003 he has been recurrent Visiting Professor at the Legal Studies Department, Central European University in Budapest where he teaches a course on “Mental disability law and advocacy”. He also teaches on the International Diploma on Mental Health Law and Human Rights, run by the Indian Law Society in Pune, India.

Oliver has co-written a book entitled “Mental Disability and the European Convention on Human Rights” and has written several book chapters and journal articles on human rights, mental health and disability which can be found here. He blogs at www.mdac.org/OliverTalks.


Oliver has an LLB (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MA in Medical Ethics and Law from King’s College, London, and a MPA (Master of Public Administration) from the Open University Business School and a PhD in law from Leiden University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (FInstLM).


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