Elizabeth Wicks

Elizabeth  Wicks Professor
LLB (De Montfort), LLM (Leicester), PhD (Birmingham)
Email: liz.wicks@le.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 223 1291

Personal details

LLB (De Montfort), LLM (Leicester), PhD (Birmingham)

I joined Leicester in 2010 from the University of Birmingham where I was a lecturer, and subsequently senior lecturer, for ten years. My PhD was on Human Rights Treaties and Sovereignty. I am now a Professor of Human Rights Law and my current research interests lie in medical law, constitutional law, and human rights, especially human rights in healthcare, bodily autonomy and the right to life. I am the author of four monographs, including The Right to Life and Conflicting Interests published by Oxford University Press in 2010 and The State and the Body: Legal Regulation of Bodily Autonomy, published by Hart in 2016. I am currently writing a book on Suicide and the Law to be published by Hart in 2021 which will analyse the law’s response to suicide, utilising a historical and socio-legal perspective.My interest in medical law has led to me sitting on a number of ethics committees including the Advisory Committee on Ethics for the Assisted Conception Unit at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital. I have been invited to talk about aspects of my research at many universities and organisations in the UK and overseas, including the Royal College of Ophthalmologists,LOROS hospice, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Universities of Pescara and Perugia in Italy. I was also recently part of a British Academy international partnership project with the University of Cape Town on ‘Crossing Boundaries between Public and Private Law’.


Human rights (especially the ECHR, human rights in healthcare, and the right to life); British constitutional law and history; medical law.


I welcome approaches from prospective doctoral students in any of the areas of my research interests, but especially in the areas of human rights in healthcare and the right to life.

Current Supervision

  • The End of Life, Islam and the Law, Kulsum Patel
  • The implementation of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in English mental health law, Aikaterini Kazou
  • Animals, Sentience and Justice: An Analysis of the Legal Status of Animals in UK Law, and the Application of Justice to Animals, Carley Lightfoot


Constitutional and Administrative Law
Healthcare Law

Human Rights and Health Care Law


Selected publications

  • The State and the Body: Legal Regulation of Bodily Autonomy (Hart, 2016)
  • ‘R (Jackson) v Attorney-General’ in S. Juss & M. Sunkin, Landmark Cases in Public Law (2017, Hart)
  • ‘International Trends in the Recognition of Abortion Rights’ in in C. Buckley, A. Donald & P. Leach (eds), Towards Convergence in International Human Rights Law: Approaches of Regional and International Systems (2017, Brill Nijhoff)   https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004284258_005
  • The UK and European Human Rights: A Strained Relationship? edited with K. Ziegler & L. Hodson (Hart, 2015)  Open access Introduction and Conclusion
  • Jacobs, White and Ovey, The European Convention on Human Rights, by B. Rainey, E. Wicks & C. Ovey (Oxford University Press, Sixth Edition, 2014 and Seventh Edition 2017)
  • ‘When is Life not in our own Best Interests? The Best Interests Test as an Unsatisfactory Exception to the Right to Life in the Context of PVS Cases’ (2013) 13 Medical Law International 75-97
  • ‘The Meaning of Life: Dignity and the Right to Life in International Human Rights Treaties’ (2012) 12(2) Human Rights Law Review 199-219   https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hrlr/ngs002

  • The Right to Life and Conflicting Interests (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Human Rights and Healthcare (Hart Publishing, 2007).
  • The Evolution of a Constitution: Eight Key Moments in British Constitutional History (Hart Publishing, 2006).
  • ‘Late Termination of Pregnancy for Reason of Fetal Abnormality: Medical and Legal Perspectives’ (2004) 12(3) Medical Law Review 285-305 (with M. Wyldes and M. Kilby)
  • ‘A New Constitution for a New State? The 1707 Union of England and Scotland (2001) 117 Law Quarterly Review 109-126

Full publication list

Share this page:


Leicester Law School

tel +44 (0)116 252 2363  
fax +44 (0)116 252 5023

University of Leicester,
University Road,

Key Contacts

Follow us on Twitter @LawLeicester

Student complaints procedure