Dr Louisa Ashley, Head of Subject (Postgraduate)

Dr Louisa Ashley

Head of Subject (Postgraduate)

Louisa is a Head of Law (Postgraduate) at Leeds Law School. Her academic research focuses upon international human rights and she has worked collaboratively to produce unique immersive learning scenarios, bringing studying law to life. She enjoys writing poetry.

Louisa joined Leeds Beckett in 2008 from legal practice, having trained and qualified as a solicitor with Walker Morris LLP, a large corporate law firm in Leeds. Upon qualification, she joined Walker Morris LLP’s employment group where she advised individual and corporate clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters and represented claimant and respondent clients at Tribunal.

During her training to be a solicitor, Louisa gained experience in corporate tax, insolvency, commercial property and employment law. Post-qualification, she worked with private clients, companies and public sector organisations advising them on contentious and non-contentious employment law matters and representing both claimant and respondent clients at Tribunal.

Before becoming a lawyer, Louisa was one of the founders of award-winning Unlimited Theatre and then subsequently chaired the board of trustees until 2016. With Unlimited Theatre, she created and delivered arts-based theatre projects with local schools and communities, devised and toured theatre nationally and internationally, and wrote successful funding bids.

Louisa has worked closely with colleagues to develop bespoke immersive learning scenarios for students studying Client Care Skills and UK Anti-Terrorism Law. Via the use of story and media, students experience a simulation of working under pressure, evaluating complex information, responding to crisis situations and making decisions as a team.

Louisa has been an external examiner at various universities and an external advisor on a number of validation panels. She has chaired internal validation panels and is also an internal coach at Leeds Beckett, offering one-to-one coaching and mentoring to support colleagues going through organisational change, seeking to improve their relationship with work, and/or focus upon their career trajectory.

Current Teaching

  • LLB
  • LLM
  • LPC

Research Interests

Louisa's academic research focuses primarily upon international human rights. Her PhD evaluates the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in relation to states in crisis. The UPR is a United Nations human rights reporting and monitoring system based upon state-to-state peer review. As well as focusing on the UPR, her published research addresses the human rights impact of unilateral economic sanctions, and human rights in times of conflict and post-conflict. She has delivered conference papers in the UK and overseas. Recently, she has been collaborating with academics from Colombia exploring land rights and land use issues. She is currently developing this research in the context of biocultural rights and posthuman legalities.

PhD Supervision

Louisa welcomes prospective PhD students within the following areas of research:

  • International Human Rights
  • Land Rights
  • Discrimination/Equality Law
  • Employment Law
  • Peasant rights/Seed sovereignty

If you are a prospective student who would like to speak to Louisa about PhD supervision, please contact Louisa by email.

Dr Louisa Ashley, Head of Subject (Postgraduate)

Ask Me About

  1. International human rights
  2. Employment Law
  3. Universal Periodic Review
  4. Law

Selected Outputs

  • Ashley L (2019) The Universal Periodic Review: civil society and communities of practice. In: Socio-Legal Scholars Association (SLSA) Annual Conference, 3 April 2019, University of Leeds.

  • Ashley L (2017) Universal Periodic Review and States in Crisis. In: Universal Periodic Review and States in Crisis, 10 May 2017, Birmingham City University.

  • Gardiner SJ; Ashley L (2015) Sport Diversity, Discrimination and the Equality Act. In: The Equality Act 2010: five years on, Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity (FRED), University of Chester.

  • Ashley L (2015) States in crisis, normative pluralism and the Universal Periodic Review. In: Law and Society in the 21st Century: The functions of law in a global society, 10 June 2015 - 12 June 2015, University of Oslo, Norway.

  • Ashley L (2014) Participant in roundtable discussion (participation by invitation only). In: Hybridity: Exploring power, social structures, and institutions beyond the liberal west, Institute of Advanced Studies, The University of Birmingham.

  • Ashley L (2013) Alternative Spaces of Normativity. In: Spaces of Indigenous Justice, 12 December 2013 - 13 December 2013, University of Leeds, UK.

  • Ashley L (2013) ‘How soon is now? A discussion of indigenous peoples land rights, parallel sovereignty and global legal pluralism’. In: Socio-legal Scholars Association (SLSA) Annual Conference, University of York, UK.

  • Ashley L (2013) Whose Development Is It Anyway? A Discussion Of The Potential For Concepts Of Cosmopolitan Legal Pluralism To Address Tensions Between The Right To Development And The Impact Of Development Projects On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples. In: Socio-legal Scholars Association (SLSA) Annual Conference, University of York, UK.

  • Ashley L (2021) Unilateral Coercive Measures: Towards International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights. In: Subedi S ed. Unilateral Sanctions in International Law. Hart Publishing,

  • Ashley L (2021) Global governance to address land rights and local ills: the universal periodic review aiding the creation of a third space in pursuit of land rights that support social innovation, biodiversity and natural capital in Latin America. In: Calvo S; Morales A ed. Social Innovation in Latin America Maintaining and Restoring Social and Natural Capital. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 37-63.

  • Riches LJ (2017) Legal and normative pluralism, hybridity and human rights: The Universal Periodic Review. In: Lemay-Hebert N; Freedman R ed. Hybridity: Law, Culture and Development. Routledge, pp. 161-181.