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Professor Elizabeth Smart LLB, LLM

Professor and Head of Law


Elizabeth recently joined Sheffield Hallam University as Principal Lecturer with particular responsibility for clinical legal education. With employability issues high on any student's agenda there are many exciting opportunities for the Department to build on its current successes and she is working closely with staff and students to ensure that they build on their excellent reputation in this area and create a range of opportunities for students to enhance their practical skills in such a way that they will translate into the workplace and give Sheffield Hallam students a competitive edge.

  • About

    Previously Elizabeth was the national Deputy Director of Legal Practice Course Programmes (Full-time) at BPP University College and was part of the senior management team responsible for obtaining degree awarding powers for a private provider. As Senior Academic of the Law School in Leeds she ensured the strategic development of the law school and all associated postgraduate programmes. She created business development and marketing initiatives and successfully led the academic team through various professional qualification validations. Prior to this she worked at The University of Sheffield (1997-2003) as the LPC Director and taught criminal litigation and advanced criminal litigation together with all associated legal skills.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Elizabeth delivers modules in criminal law and clinical legal education modules such as The Law Clinic.

    She is particularly interested in police station work and the continuing conflict of interest between ensuring that justice is done and acting in a client's best interest. Bringing together police investigative skills and active defence principles is challenging but the ability to view a situation from both perspectives provides opportunities to identify areas of best practice and relevant legal skills which can be used to assist both sides.

    Criminal law in theory and criminal law in practice can sometimes vary widely; current government legislation and the current economic climate make criminal practice very challenging and recent additional cuts to legal aid to some extent has dealt a fatal blow to the criminal bar.

    The availability of court representation for all look sets to be a thing of the past and the courts may see a significant increase in the numbers of litigants in person. What strategies they will adopt to deal with this is an interesting area of development both in the criminal and civil courts.

    She is currently studying for an Executive MBA and has been involved in collating empirical research into the student experience and what factors influence student choice the most. A recent consultancy project undertaken on behalf of the University produced interesting results which should inform the strategic development of the University in the changing face of legal education and the different educational pathways which look set to open up following the production of the Legal Education Training Review which is due to report later this year.

  • Teaching

    Department Of Law and Criminology

    Social Sciences and Arts

  • Publications

    Human Rights. Foundations Course Manual. Oxford University Press.

  • Other activities

    Previously Elizabeth sat on the Quality Assurance Sub-Committee for the Solicitors Regulation Authority and as an External Examiner for Liverpool John Moores University. She is currently an External Examiner for Huddersfield University and Anglia Ruskin University and is an External Moderator for Datalaw with responsibility for the Police Station and Magistrates Court Qualification. She carries out consultancy work for various police forces nationally training Active Defence principles and Courtroom Skills.

    She is a departmental representative on the University MBA Development Group.

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