Academic Experience


Luke is the Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law Leeds University. He has previously been the Director of the Centre for Health and Social Care Law at Cardiff Law School and a Principal Research Fellow at Warwick University Law School and an Associate Fellow of the Department of Social Policy and Applied Social Studies at the University of Warwick.

Research and teaching

Luke’s academic research and teaching experience has focused on three domains: (1) Social Care law, including the rights of disabled people and carer; (2) European and domestic UK human rights law; and (3) Gypsy and Traveller law and public policy. His research interests in these areas have attracted major awards, including from the ESRC, The Nuffield Foundation; The Joseph Rowntree Chatritable Trust; Cerebra; and The Care Council for Wales.

Social Care Law, disabled people and carers rights

In his role as the Cerebra Professor of Law & Social Justice at the School of Law, Luke leads the Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) Research Project. The programme helps disabled children and their families who are encountering difficulties in accessing their statutory entitlements to health and social care support.

Luke’s domestic work as a solicitor (he retired from practice in 2021) was largely focused on social care law and the rights of disabled people and carers. His publication Community Care & the Law in 1996 was the first comprehensive review of this domain of the law. The publication (now in its 7th edition) is a leading review of adult social care law in England.

Luke has assisted with many other legislative and policy initiatives including the initial drafting of the private members bills that became the Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 as well assisting with the drafting of the Disabled Children (Family Support) Private Members Bill (2007) for Gary Streeter MP and a number of 10 Minute Rule Bills including the Disabled Children’s Assessment and Services Bill (Ed Balls MP), the Care of Older and Incapacitated People (Human Rights) Bill (Paul Burstow MP) and the Identification and Support of Carers (Primary Health Care) Bill (Barbara Keeley MP). In 2013 he was the Special Adviser to the Parliamentary Committee that scrutinised the draft Bill that resulted in the Care Act 2014.

International Human Rights

Luke’s practitioner experience of taking cases to the European Commission and Court of Human Rights for has been applied academically in terms of externally funded research, publications and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Luke published the first detailed English guide to the Strasbourg human rights complaints system in 1994 (European Human Rights: Taking a case under the Convention. London Sweet & Maxwell) and a selected list of Luke’s publications is accessible here.

Gypsies and other Travelling people

Luke’s practitioner experience in acting for Gypsies and other Travelling people in the 1980’s and early 1990s resulted in the first case taken by these minority groups to the European Court of Human Rights (Buckley v UK 1997). In 1996 Luke co-founded with Professor Phillip Thomas the Traveller Law Research Unit within the Cardiff Law School and helped coordinate a number of major research studies and policy / legislative initiatives – outlined above.

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