Rob Heywood


  • 1.11A Earlham Hall

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Personal profile

Academic Background

2010 PG Cert Higher Education Practice, UEA.

2006 PhD, ‘The Law and Practice of Consent to Medical Intervention’, Sheffield Hallam University.

2002 LLB (Hons), Sheffield Hallam University.


Rob is a Professor of Medical Law and was previously Deputy Head of the UEA Law School. He is the module leader for Medical Law on the undergraduate programme, and also teaches on the undergraduate core module Tort Law.

Rob has specific expertise in the fields of clinical negligence, informed consent and information disclosure, end-of-life decision-making, advance decision-making and mental capacity.  He has authored numerous articles in the Medical Law Review, the leading journal in the field of medical law, and has also published pieces in a number of leading generalist law journals.  His article on informed consent and information disclosure, co-authored with Professor José Miola (University of Leeds), appeared in the University of Oxford's highly respected Law Quarterly Review.  Rob’s published work on informed consent was also cited, with approval, by the highest court in Singapore.  See, Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien and Others [2017] SGCA 38. In respect of mental capacity, Rob’s written evidence was cited in the recent ‘Law Commission Consultation Paper No 222 – Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty’. On the 29th June 2018, Rob's further written evidence on the Law Commission's proposals for the Liberty Protection Safeguards was cited in the Final Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights “The Right to Freedom and Safety: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards”.

In 2020, Rob was delighted to be invited by Professor Margot Brazier (University of Manchester) and Professor Emma Cave (University of Durham) to co-author the 7th edition of Medicine, Patients and the Law, which is a leading textbook in the field of medical law.

In 2021, Rob will also begin a term of office as case commentaries editor for the internationally renowned journal Medical Law Review.

Having undertaken multi-disciplinary empirical research on informed consent, Rob has skills in working with a range of healthcare professionals, patients and medical students. He has knowledge of qualitative research methods and data analysis, and is also familiar with the process of gaining ethical approval for research carried out in the NHS.  Rob is currently a co-investigator on multi-disciplinary funded project from the Nuffield Foundation. This bid, in collaboration with UEA’s School of Health Sciences, received funding to the tune of £378,204 to investigate the development of an assent-based process for the inclusion of adults with impairments of capacity and/or communication in ethically-sound research.

Rob sits on the editorial boards of the Medical Law Review, Medical Law International, the Journal of Professional Negligence, the Journal of Medical Law and Ethics and the BMC Medical Ethics. He also sits as a member of UEA’s Social Work and Law Ethics Committee.

In 2010, Rob won one of the prestigious UEA Excellence in Teaching Awards, which recognises and celebrates outstanding teaching. This was awarded in recognition of his teaching on three popular final year modules: Medical Law, Company Law and Media Entertainment & Sports Law. Colleagues and students alike have testified to Rob's enthusiasm, innovation and ability to engage and motivate his classes. In 2014, Rob was also nominated for a UEA Excellence in Engagement Award. His on-going concern and support for the welfare of students is also shown in the active role he plays as an academic adviser. 

In his spare time, Rob swims, cycles and plays amateur football.  He is a supporter of Manchester United and also enjoys watching cricket, rugby and boxing.



2015 - Present: Professor of Medical Law, UEA Law School.

2007 – 2015: Reader in Medical Law, UEA Law School.  

2005 – 2007: Senior Lecturer in Law, Sheffield Hallam University.

2002 – 2005: Research Student and Associate Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University.

External Activities

  • Medical Law in England I, II, and III - Deutsche Richterakademie, Trier, Germany. Teaching the German Judicial Academy English Law in December 2011 and June 2011.
  • January 2013 invited to review the main output for the AHRC joint research project between Manchester, Birmingham and Lancaster focusing on the impact of the criminal law on medicine. The review will appear in Medical Law Review.
  • November 2012 invited to submit written evidence: Choice at the End of Life All Party Parliamentary Group - Safeguarding Choice Assisted Dying Bill Consultation.
  • February 2012: ‘Withdrawal of Treatment from Patients in a Minimally Conscious State.’ Invited seminar paper at the University of Manchester.
  • December 2011 Key Note Speaker: ‘The Logic of Bolitho.’ The Norfolk and Norwich Med-Chi Society Dinner in conjunction with The Norfolk and Norwich Medical Legal Society.
  • February 2011 Key Note Speaker: ‘Developing Legal Attitudes: Debbie Purdy's Case and the DPP's Prosecuting Policy for Cases of Assisted Suicide.’ The Norfolk and Norwich Med-Chi Society Dinner in conjunction with The Norfolk and Norwich Medical Legal Society.
  • November 2010 - Medical Law and Ethics in the Media Spotlight. Two day conference at the British Academy.
  • November 2009 - Good, Bad or Indifferent? Medicine and the Criminal Process. Two day academic conference at the University of Manchester.
  • Sept 2009 - Invited paper: ‘Consent and Clinical Negligence.’ The Norfolk and Norwich Medical Legal Society.
  • May 2008 - The Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians of Glasgow Annual Conference on Clinical Negligence. Work cited by David Body of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, the individual who represented Patrick Bolitho.
  • June 2006 - Law, Informed Consent & the NHS. A paper given for the visit of the President of the GMC, Professor Sir Graeme Catto, Tameside & Glossop PC Trust.
  • March 2006 - The Law and Informed Consent. A paper given at the Annual Conference of the Tameside & Glossop PC Trust entitled ‘Patient Centred Health & Patient Accessed Electronic Health Records.’
  • June 2005 - The First Annual Sports Law Conference. Two day conference attended at the University of Central Lancashire.
  • Dec 2003 - The Legal and Ethical Issues of Consent in the NHS. A paper given at the Annual Meeting of the Tameside & Glossop PC Trust.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Rob’s research focuses mainly on medical law, with a particular interest in informed consent and clinical negligence. He also has an interest in mental capacity and best interests, assisted suicide, end-of-life decision making and advance decision making.  Rob has published in a range of specialist law journals including the Medical Law Review, the Journal of Professional Negligence, Medical Law International, the Tort Law Review, the Medico-Legal Journal and the Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law. Rob has also published articles in general law journals such as Legal Studies, the Law Quarterly Review, the Cambridge Law Journal, the Common Law World Review and Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.

Rob sits on the editorial board of OUP's esteemed Medical Law Review, and also sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Professional Negligence and the Journal of Medical Law and Ethics.

Rob would be willing to supervise students in the following areas:
Information Disclosure
Mental Capacity
Mental Health
End of Life Decision Making
Advance Decisions
Clinical Negligence
Company Directors
Corporate Manslaughter
Organ Transplantation

Key Responsibilities

Deputy Head of UEA Law School;

Committee Member of the UEA G-Rec Ethics Committee;

Committee Member of the Norfolk and Norwich Medico-Legal Society;

Assistant Director of UG Admissions;

UG Outreach Team.

Professional Activities

  • Legal Issues in Clinical Practice / Advanced Legal Issues in Clinical Practice / Contemporary Dilemmas in Healthcare Law. CPD Accredited Courses, UEA Research and Enterprise Centre.
  • Clinical Negligence in Nursing. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Norwich University Teaching Hospital.


Medical law - informed consent and clinical negligence; company law - lifting the veil, charges, corporate manslaughter; sports law - civil liability in participant sports.

Teaching Interests

In addition to the courses I am module leader for, I have teaching interests in:

Sports Law; Torts.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment 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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or