John Williams


John Williams is Professor of Law at the University of Aberystwyth.  As Visiting Fellow within the ARK Ageing Programme, John was based in Queen’s University from 12th to 23 October 2015.  John had previously been involved in research in Northern Ireland, and was guest editor of the report Protecting our Older People in Northern Ireland: A Call for Adult Safeguarding Legislation (published by the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland in 2014).


Themes and issues

The overall theme of John’s visit was  ‘Bringing rights to life’, especially within a human rights perspective.  Three key issues were raised.  Firstly, one key point that was highlighted thoughout all the events was the necessity for human rights to be perceived as something that we all have.  Thus, older people should see themselves as rights holders.  The second key issue related to the first: progress on a possible UN Convention on the Rights of Older People, and the link with other Conventions and policies, such as the Human Rights Act, and the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities.  The third issue focused on adult safeguarding legislation in Northern Ireland, and learning from the legislation in other regions.


During John’s visit, we organised a wide range of activities around this theme, in collaboration with AgeNI, as well as the Disability Research Network.  In addition, John met with PhD students and policy makers on a one-to-one basis. Key events are listed below.