Olaoluwa Olusanya

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


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Personal profile

Research interests

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.


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).



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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • K Law (General)
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • BF Psychology


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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