Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Contact Details

Ms Lydia Bleasdale-Hill

Associate Professor and Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence and Innovation Fellow (2016-17)

I have been lecturing at the School (primarily in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice), since 2005.  I am a graduate of the University of Leeds (LLB) and Oxford (MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice).

In the 2016-17 academic year I will be seconded to the Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (LITEI), where I shall be leading a University-wide research project into student resilience. As a LITEI Fellow, I will be responsible for managing  that research, and will serve as a LITEI ambassador at local, national and international events. 

I will remain as Director of Clinics at the School of Law in 2016-17, with responsibility for further developing the School’s growing portfolio of free legal advice clinics. The clinics are an opportunity for students to work with solicitors and barristers in providing advice to members of the community, and are run in conjunction with a range of organisations (including advice centres, Leeds City Council, and a centre for those without a secure home).

Research Interests

My primary research interests are clinical legal education, criminal law, student wellbeing and student resilience. My most recent research concerns the ways in which clinical legal education programmes and initiatives could positively influence the wellbeing of Law students. 

My LITEI fellowship research will consider student resilience across a variety of disciplines at the University of Leeds, with the results being intended to inform a range of student education and support policies at School, Faculty and University level. 


I have no teaching responsibilities for the 2016-17 academic year. Ordinarily, I teach criminal law and some criminal justice subjects (including supervision of postgraduate and undergraduate dissertations in those areas). 

Key Publications

Journal articles

  • Bleasdale Hill LK, Dickinson J, ‘Dangerous dogs': different dog, same lamppost?’, Journal of Criminal Law, 80.1 (2016), 64-76
    DOI: 10.1177/0022018315623684, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/95525/

    Legislation governing the regulation of dangerous dogs is notoriously fraught with difficulties, in particular concerning the definitions incorporated within, and the enforcement and application of, the relevant provisions. This paper examines two aspects of the legislative framework; the regulation of ‘type-specific’ breeds of dogs, and the extension of regulations relating to the control of dogs from public to private spheres. These aspects afford an opportunity for two principal justifications in favour of controlling owners and their dogs to be analysed: the protection of the public and the need to responsibilise dog owners. This paper considers the extent to which type-specific provisions and the extension of dangerous dogs legislation to cover private spheres achieve those desired aims and concludes that these goals are not clearly met. The authors recommend a consolidated piece of legislation, alongside a more sophisticated approach (supported by further research) being adopted with respect to the nature of dog ownership.

  • Bleasdale Hill LK, ‘Our home is our haven and refuge - a place where we have every right to feel safe": justifying the use of up to "grossly disproportionate force" in a place of residence’, Criminal Law Review -London, 2015.6 (2015), 407-419
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/89172/

    The Crime and Courts Act 2013 amended s.76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 with the effect that there are now two forms of private defence. If the force is used within a dwelling against a trespasser s.76(8) permits it to be "anything up to grossly disproportionate", whereas force used elsewhere must not be disproportionate. This paper considers whether a distinction between the level of permissible defensive force in the private and public spheres can be justified by reference to the theoretical underpinnings of self-defence and, if so, whether it might be legitimate to allow disproportionate force in the private context.

  • Bleasdale Hill LK, Wragg P, ‘Models of Clinic and Their Value to Students, Universities and the Community in the post-2012 Fees Era’, International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, 19 (2013), 257-270

    Author URL [www.northumbriajournals.co.uk]

    The number of clinics in existence within higher education institutions has continued to proliferate in recent years. The 2011 LawWorks1 report examining the pro bono work undertaken within Universities in the United Kingdom found that at least 61 per cent of all Law schools now offer pro bono activities to their students,2 with 40 respondents offering clinic. This compares with 53 per cent of respondents offering pro bono activity and 11 respondents offering clinical activities in 2006. This evidence suggests that an increasing number of Law Schools recognise the benefits of clinic to students. However, the arrival of a new era in higher education funding arguably requires some reflection on (and perhaps greater articulation of) those benefits and the priorities of clinic activity overall, in order to ensure that the expectations of the key clinic stakeholders (the hosting institution, student volunteers and participating members of the public) are met. Concerns that the significant reduction in state funding for higher education will impact adversely on institutional resources is well-documented and at an institutional level there is likely to be increased scrutiny of the efficiency of devoting scarce resources to clinic activity in a climate of lower (or potentially lower) income streams and leaner budgets. Similarly, some students are likelyto exhibit a heightened sense of wanting value for money in their expectations of clinical education and may well demand greater input in the design of clinic activity. Against this, there has been a general and significant reduction in funding for the provision of free legal advice and an associated increased demand amongst the general public for quality free legal advice and access to justice. Therefore, for new and established clinicians alike, the post-2012 era provides the opportunity for, if not necessitates, reflection on the expectations and ambitions of the three key clinic stakeholders (the host institution, the student volunteers and the general public) and, particularly, the question of whether they are sufficiently aligned with each other and the priorities of the clinic activity in place. Arguably, the possibility of conflicting priorities for clinic originating from these key stakeholders and methods of resolving them has featured little in the academic commentary. This paper seeks to contribute to such a debate by offering some insights into resolving these tensions. Taking the interests of each stakeholder in turn, this paper discusses methods of maximising the efficiency of administering the clinic and managing student expectations.

  • Bleasdale Hill LK, ‘Under Attack: The Metaphoric Threat of Asylum Seekers in Public-Political Discourses’, Web JCLI, 14.1 (2008)

    Author URL [www.academia.edu]

    The relatively recent move towards a deliberative account of democracy hasimplications for the use of metaphors in public-political discourses. This paperexamines the extent to which the use of such metaphors during discussions in thepolitical sphere about asylum seekers is compatible with the desire of deliberativedemocrats to ensure that debates on public policy issues are both open andreasonable. The argument advanced here is that the use of metaphors deformspolitical debate about asylum, and that deliberative democracy needs to take greateraccount of such linguistic ‘hurdles’


  • Bleasdale Hill LK, The Experience of Establishing and Maintaining Pro bono Projects within an Educational Setting: A Narrative, (University of Leeds, 2011)

    Author URL [eprints.whiterose.ac.uk]

    The School of Law has a large number of pro bono activities, including the Innocence Project (UoLIP), the School of Law Legal Advice Clinic, and Streetlaw projects. The predominant aim of this project is to evaluate how best the School can strategically develop existing and new pro bono opportunities, within relevant constraints, thereby enhancing the School’s ability to provide an exceptional student experience. A subsidiary aim of the project is to widen out participation in off-campus pro bono activities to students through the provision of funds for travel costs, thereby increasing participation of all students who can benefit from such activities. The approach adopted by the University of Leeds and other institutions in developing pro bono opportunities will be compared and evaluated, with the dual aims of: 1) Ensuring the University of Leeds School of Law can work within relevant constraints to develop existing and new pro bono opportunities in a strategic manner (particularly by drawing upon the experience of colleagues at other institutions); and 2) Evaluating how to provide the best possible student experience as far as pro bono opportunities are concerned.

© Copyright Leeds 2016