Dr Olayinka Lewis

Senior Lecturer
Essex Law School
Dr Olayinka Lewis



Olayinka joined the School of Law and Human Rights Centre as a Lecturer in October 2021. He holds a PhD in law from the University of Aberdeen. His PhD thesis examined the impact of legal pluralism on land and mineral ownership and control. Olayinka employed the use of legal theory in underpinning ownership of land and minerals and analysed empirical data from semi-structured interviews as part of the qualitative research used in answering the thesis question. He holds an LLM in Oil and Gas law also from the University of Aberdeen and an LLB (Hons). Olayinka is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is an English qualified practising solicitor. He has strong interests in UK Immigration Law from both a theoretical and practical perspective and has over a decade’s experience of advising clients on UK Immigration law. Olayinka has various research interests but his key areas are immigration, nationality & asylum law, legal pluralism, customary law, and energy law. He welcomes supervision in these areas. Before joining Essex Law School, Olayinka worked at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen where taught a range of modules and served as Academic Director of the Law Clinic, where he helped plug the gap created by the lack of access to justice. He was a Visiting Professor at ESC Clermont Graduate School of Management, France from 2016 to 2019 where he taught International Commercial Law. He received a grant from the Young Universities for the Future of Europe for a Refugee Rights Awareness project. in 2022. Olayinka currently serves as a Member of the Immigration and Asylum Sub-committee of the Law Society of Scotland, an academic reviewer for Routledge and as an External Examiner to the University of Bradford and the University of Wolverhampton. He is the Immigration Lead at the Essex Law Clinic. And a member of various societies and professional working groups including; the Society of Legal Scholars, Socio-legal Studies Association, Law and Society Association and the Law Society of England and Wales. Outside of academia, Olayinka worked as a solicitor for several years in various areas of law including commercial law, family law and immigration & nationality law.


  • PhD University of Aberdeen,

  • LLM (Oil & Gas Law) University of Aberdeen,


University of Essex

  • Elected Member of Senate, Essex Law School, University of Essex (11/9/2023 - present)

  • Senior Lecturer, Essex Law School, University of Essex (1/10/2023 - present)

  • Lecturer, School of Law, University of Essex (18/10/2021 - 30/9/2023)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Immigration and nationality law

Energy law

Legal pluralism

Current research

Birth Tourism

Windrush Compensation Scheme

Refugee relocation policy

Conferences and presentations

Land Dispossession & Colonial Violence in Nigeria & Kenya: Reading British Colonial Archives “Against the Grain”

Invited presentation, Socio-legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference, University of Portsmouth, 27/3/2024

The United Kingdom’s Relocation of Refugees to Rwanda: A Continuation of the ‘Hostile Environment’ Policy on Immigration?

Invited presentation, Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1/6/2023

The Windrush Scandal: Have Lessons Really Been Learnt?

Invited presentation, Socio-legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference, Londonderry, United Kingdom, 5/4/2023

The Continuing Impact of Colonialism on Ownership of Land in Southern Nigeria

Invited presentation, Socio-legal Studies Association (SLSA) Conference, Londonderry, United Kingdom, 4/4/2023

The ‘no recourse to public funds’ condition within the UK immigration system: its damaging impact on families

Invited presentation, Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Conference, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa, 13/12/2022

The hostility of the UK Immigration System and its unfair treatment of vulnerable clients: Time for a more humane approach

Invited presentation, European Network for Clinical Legal Education (ENCLE) Conference, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy, 13/7/2022

Ensuring long-term support for Ukrainian refugees and host families

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Ukrainian Refugees in the UK: Ensuring Ukrainian Refugees Are Provided For and Safeguarded in the UK, Public Policy Exchange, London, United Kingdom, 7/7/2022

The Largely Forgotten Group in Equality: Visa National Students and Staff

Invited presentation, UCU Equality Research Conference 2022, 19/5/2022

Historical Injustices and the Continuing Changes to UK Immigration Legislation

Invited presentation, Roundtable Discussion on the Impact of the Nationality and Borders Bill on Women, The Pearce Institute, Glasgow, 20/4/2022

The Points-based System and its Unfair Treatment of Foreign Workers and Employers: The Need for Change.

Invited presentation, Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, University of York, York, 6/4/2022

Legal Pluralism and Land Ownership in Nigeria: A Tale of Two Conflicting Systems

Invited presentation, Legal Pluralism Colloquium: The Continuous Search for Coherence in Africa's Plural Legal Systems, Bayreuth, Germany, 19/11/2021

Legal Pluralism and Land Ownership: A Theoretical Perspective

Invited presentation, The Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, London, United Kingdom, 6/9/2018

Brexit and the Implications for Scotland: A Way Forward

Invited presentation, The Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 6/9/2017

Maritime Boundary Delimitation and the Ownership of Hydrocarbon Resources. Issues in Relation to Exploration and Production Activities

Invited presentation, The Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, York, United Kingdom, 9/9/2015

Examining Article 1 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees: Does it go far enough?

Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Coventry, United Kingdom, 2/4/2015

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Contract Law (LW101)

  • Career Development Learning Part 1 (LW111)

  • Legal Advice Case Work (LW250)

  • Final Year Research Project (LW304)

  • Legal Ethics and Justice (LW352)


Journal articles (3)

Radziwinowiczowna, A. and Lewis, O., (2023). The new grounds for deportation of European Union citizens in the UK. International Migration. 61 (5), 201-215

Lewis, O. and Radziwinowiczówna, A., (2021). The Post-Brexit Legal Framework for International Migration in the UK: Differentiated Deportability of Poor Europeans?. CMR Working Papers

Lewis, O. and Arnell, P., (2016). The Migrant Crisis and Refugee Law in Scotland. Scolag. 466, 152-152

Book chapters (1)

Lewis, O., (2020). Immigration and Employment Law. In: Employment Law in Scotland. Bloomsbury Professional. 1526509628. 9781526509628

Reports and Papers (1)

Lewis, O., (2023). Legal Pluralism and Land Ownership in Nigeria: A Tale Of Two Unworkable Systems

Other (5)

Lewis, O. and Fluhr, F., (2024).Written evidence - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum & Immigration) Bill (Written evidence to the Human Rights Joint Committee of the UK Parliament)

Lewis, O. and Gilbert, G., (2023).Human Rights of Asylum Seekers in the UK (Written evidence to the Human Rights Joint Committee of the UK Parliament)

Lewis, O., (2023).Legislative Scrutiny: Illegal Migration Bill (Written evidence to the Human Rights Joint Committee of the UK Parliament),Human Rights (Joint Committee) UK Parliament

Arnell, P., Lewis, O., Kalocsányiová, E. and Forrester, A., (2023).The UK's Illegal Migration Bill: Human rights violated. Medicine, Science and the Law. 63(4),SAGE Publications

Lewis, O., (2017).Brexit and the implications for Scotland: A way forward

+44 (0) 1206 873886


5S.5.29, Colchester Campus