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About Ursula Smartt

Ursula Smartt is Associate Professor in Law at Northeastern (Northeastern University London) and Legal Careers Counsellor for all students in the Faculty of Law. She holds the Master of Philosophy in Social Policy and Criminology from the University of Hull and the Postgraduate Diploma in Law (formerly Common Professional Examination) from the University of West London. Ursula’s career path has been varied, including Human Resource Manager for a large Hotel Group in Glasgow and London, Head of Modern Languages at a large mixed Comprehensive School in Yorkshire as well as a Public Boarding School in Surrey and Radio Showhost at BBC Radio Humberside.

Ursula writes several leading legal textbooks, the best-selling Media and Entertainment Law (Routledge) and Media Law for Journalists (Routledge). She has conducted prison research for several international governments, specialising in prisoner labour and correctional industries. Most recently for the Government of Moldova. She was awarded a Visiting Professorship in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice by the Max Planck Institute, Freiburg, Germany in 2001 and continues publishing on prison matters and the fear of crime in international refereed journals.



MPhil, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Hull (1999)

CPE (Post Graduate Diploma in Law), University of West London (1998)

MA, German Politics and Social Policy, University of West London (1992)

PG Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management, University of Glasgow

PGCE, University of Hull (1976)

BA Joint Hons. English and German, University of Hull (1975)


Professional Affiliations

Society of Legal Scholars

European Society of International Law (ESIL)



Ursula Smartt's Research

Ursula has a long track record of internationally funded prison research including prisons in Moldova, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Hungary, the USA, Canada, New South Wales, the Turks and Caicos Islands and India. She was awarded a Visiting Professorship at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg, Germany in 2001, specialising in fear of crime and stalking research.

She has an extensive publication record in both English and German in internationally refereed journals. Her recent publications are in media and entertainment law (privacy; confidentiality; fake news; regulating online harm). Her mainstream book publications include ‘Media and Entertainment Law’ (Routledge); ‘Optimize Public Law’ (Routledge); ‘Media Law for Journalists’ (Sage), Law for Criminologists (Sage) and ‘Grendon Tales’: stories from a therapeutic prison community’ (Waterside Press).


Selected Publications


Ursula Smartt (2021) Media Law for Journalists 4th ed. Routledge. Foreword by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.

Ursula Smartt (2021) Media Law for Journalists 2nd ed. Routledge.

Ursula Smartt (2017) Optimize Public Law. 2nd ed. Routledge.

Ursula Smartt (2011) Media Law Statutes. Pearson-Longman.

Ursula Smartt (2010) ‘Crime and Punishment in the Turks and Caicos Islands’. In: Janet P. Stamatel and Hung-En Sung (Vol. Eds); Graeme R. Newman (Ed.) Crime and Punishment Around the World. The Americas, Vol. 2, pp. 322 – 328. Santa Barbara, CA/ Denver, Colorado/ USA; Oxford/UK: ABC-CLIO, LLC – Greenwood Press.

Ursula Smartt (2009) Law for Criminologists. Foreword by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. Sage.

Ursula Smartt (2006) Criminal Justice. Sage Publications.

Ursula Smartt (2001) Grendon Tales: Stories from a therapeutic community. Foreword by Lord Avebury. Waterside Press.


Refereed Journal articles

Ursula Smartt (2020) ‘Are blogger and youtubers journalists?’. European Intellectual Property Review. E.I.P.R. 2020, 42(11), 728-737.

Ursula Smartt (2020) ‘Without fear or favour, affection or ill will: the lay magistracy in the 21st century’. Magistrates Magazine. July 2020.

Ursula Smartt (2018) ‘The three Rs: Remorse, Rehabilitation, Right to be forgotten: how de-listing is left up to the courts in NT1; NT2 and AR v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester’. European Intellectual Property Review. 40 E.I.P.R. 2019, pp. 804-811.

Ursula Smartt (2017) ‘The Dark Web’. Magistrates’ Magazine.

Ursula Smartt (2017) ‘Are Privacy Injunctions Futile in The Digital Age? Why Scottish Papers Choose to Name the Super Injunction A-Listers – and Why they Cannot not Do so Online’. European Intellectual Property Review. 39 E.I.P.R. 2017 Issue 7.

Ursula Smartt (2016) ‘Drones, Privacy and the Law’, Magistrates’ Magazine, Dec 2015/ Jan 2016, pp. 4 – 5.

Ursula Smartt (2015) ‘Prince Charles’s ‘black spider memos’: How a Guardian Journalist Succeeded in his 10-year Quest under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.’ European Intellectual Property Review. E.I.P.R., 37(8), 529-538.

Ursula Smartt (2015) ‘Why I was right to name the teachers’ teen killer’: naming teenagers in criminal trials and law reform in the internet age.’ Communications Law. Vol 20, No 1, 2015: 5 – 13.

Ursula Smartt (2014) ‘Internet libel: will the new Defamation Act 2013 make a real difference?’ Criminal Law and Justice Weekly (CLJW).

Ursula Smartt (2012) ‘Safety first: the Ryan Giggs superinjunction Part 2 of March 2012’. Communications Law Issue Vol 17, No.2.

Ursula Smartt (2011) ‘Twitter undermines superinjunctions’. Communications Law. Vol 16, No 4, 2011: 135 – 140.

Ursula Smartt (2010) ‘Criminal actions – copyright in the digital age.’ Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, CLJW 174 (42), 645 – 647.

Ursula Smartt (2009) ‘Euthanasia and the Law: What is the law on assisted suicide in Britain and other countries?’ Criminal Law; Justice Weekly. 173 (7)101 – 103. Joint publications and book chapters


Joint Publications and Book Chapters

Ursula Smartt and Sorin Hadarca (2020) ‘Economic activities in the penitentiary system of the Republic of Moldova: next steps for correctional industries’. Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Publication.

Ursula Smartt and Helmut (2007) ‘Domestic Violence: Comparative Analysis of German and UK Research Findings.’ Social Science Quarterly, Vol 88, No. 5, December 2007, pp. 1263 – 1280. Southwestern Social Science Association. Blackwell Publication, USA.

Helmut Kury and Ursula Smartt (2006) ‘Domestic violence: recent developments in German and English legislation and law enforcement.’ European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Volume 14, Number 4, 2006, pp. 382-407(26), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/ Brill, The Hague, Netherlands.

Ursula Smartt and Paul Ellis (2005) ‘Closing a Crack House’. Justice of the Peace, 169 (3) 33 – 34.
Ursula Smartt and Jon Vagg (2004) ‘What Works in Prison Industries? An Update.’ Prison Service Journal, No 154, July 2004, pp. 31 – 36.


Online Media Publications

26 November 2019 ‘A lawyer’s guide to navigating the clickbait era: a profile of Ursula Smartt’. News at Northeastern University, Boston:

4 December 2019 Media and Entertainment Law 4th ed book launch by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC at Northeastern University London at Northeastern University Boston, USA:

28 March 2014 Ursula Smartt’s book launch ‘Media and Entertainment Law 2nd ed.’ central London hosted by Michael Mansfield QC and Routledge Publishing:

6 May 2011 Ursula Smartt’s book launch of ‘Media and Entertainment Law’ at the Frontline Club, London:

5 Aug 2009 Expert’s view on assisted suicide ruling. BBC New Online update:

5 Aug 2009 Analysis: Assisted suicide ruling House of Lords. BBC News Online.

3 Nov 2007 ‘Kranke Witze über Maddie’, Stellungnahme zum Fall von Madeleine McCann in im deutsche Satiremagazin “Titanic”, das sich auf einer Doppelseite über die Madeleine-Hysterie lustig macht. Medienrechtlerin Ursula Smartt denkt nach.Tagesspiegel:;art1117,2411596

21 Feb 2007 Euthanasia and the Law. BBC News Online:

1 Aug 2001 ‘Woman’s hour’ BBC Radio 4: therapeutic prison communities:


Papers and Public Speaking

‘Upholding digital rights: does self-regulation by the ‘big five’ social media platforms contravene freedom of expression?’ Paper to the ‘Digital Lounge Series’. The Law, Emerging Tech & Science (LETS) Lab, is an interdisciplinary research unit at the School of Law, University of Greenwich (October 2021).

‘Transparency in digital electioneering and campaigning: are UK election laws fit for the digital age?’ Paper presentation at the University of Aberdeen. Lawyers Without Borders Student Division Conference (online 2021).

‘Economic Activities in Correctional Industries of the Republic of Moldova’ Presentation to the National Prison Administration of the Republic of Moldova and the Ministry of Justice of Moldova. Interim report of research findings and recommendations for legislation to enable the founding of correctional industries and for prisoners to work contractually for third party outside contractors whilst serving a prison sentence (online December 2020).

‘Regulating online harm’. Research paper presented at the annual conference of the British and Irish Law Education Technology Association (BILETA) ‘Regulating Transitions in Technology and Law’, Tilburg University (May 2020).

‘What’s the point of superinjunctions? Are privacy injunctions pointless in the digital age?’ Society of Legal Scholars, Annual Conference, Dublin (September 2017)

‘Will the Defamation Act 2013 make a real difference in the Internet age?’ Keynote speech at the Annual Law Society Conference, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk (February 2014).

Crime and the Media in the UK’. Keynote speech at Panteion University, Athens (January 2010).

‘Teaching non law students’. Teaching and learning conference, Thames Valley University (Reading Campus June 2008).

‘Purposeful activities in prison: research findings’ (presentation in German). Prison Governors’ Conference. Wagnitz Seminar. Wiesbaden (April 2008)

‘Trial by Media: teaching ‘contempt of court’ to non-lawyers’. Annual ‘Learning in Law Conference’, University of Warwick (January 2008)

‘Britain behind bars: lessons from abroad’. Keynes Forum, Goodenough College, London (November 2007).

‘Sozialisierung und Rehabilitation im Vollzug: Sind Gefängnisse die Achillessehne unserer Gesellschaft?’ (‘Resocialisation and rehabilitation: are prisons the Achilles-heal of our society?’). International Penal Reform Congress, Berlin, Reichstag: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (June 2007).

‘Journalism and the Law in Great Britain’, International Journalism School ‘Erich Brost Institut’, Dortmund University (June 2007).

‘Rehabilitation im Vollzug durch Gefangenenarbeit: internationaler Vergleich des vollzuglichen Arbeitswesens’ (‘Developments in Prison Industries and Prisoner Labour: international comparisons’). Prison Congress, Straubing, Bavaria (September 2006).

‘What works in prison programs?- European perspectives in prison industrial and educational programs.’ American Correctional Association (ACA) Annual Congress, Denver, Colorado, USA (March 2004).

‘Crimes of the privileged: motivational aspects of economic crime’. Annual Compliance Congress, Lloyds Bank, London (November 2002).

‘European and international developments of crime and punishment’. European Society of Criminology, Toledo, Spain (September 2002).

‘European aspects of prison labour and education’, Keynote speech, Correctional Services of New South Wales Conference, Sydney, Australia (January 2002).

‘Public Attitudes to Punishment in Germany’. International Symposium, Southwark Cathedral Conference (December 2001).

‘Therapeutic community prisons in England and Germany.’ Midland’s Centre for Criminal Justice, Loughborough University (February, 2001).

‘Prison Labour: constructive regimes in prisons.’ The Howard League, London (February, 2001).
‘Serious and violent offenders: comparing therapeutic community prisons in Europe’. American Society of Criminology Annual Congress, San Francisco (November 2000)

‘Restorative Justice: current European trends in victim-offender mediation.’ American Society of Criminology Annual Congress Annual Congress, Toronto, Canada (November 1999).

‘Prison Industries: research findings from a study into prison labour in ten European countries.’ European Prison Industries Forum, Stockholm, Sweden (April 1998).

‘Key developments in European Prison Industries’. American Correctional Association, Congress, San Antonio Texas. USA (January 1998).

‘Prisons for profits? The state of prison industries in England.’ Joint presentation with Dr. Jon Vagg, British Society of Criminology, Annual Conference, Queens College, Belfast (July 1997).

Ursula Smartt's Teaching

Ursula Smartt lectures in law and criminology. At Northeastern University LondonNU, Ursula is Module Convenor and Course Leader for English Legal System on the LLB, having previously led Public Law. At the University of Surrey she has led Media and Entertainment Law on the LLB; she also taught law at the Universities of West London and Portsmouth. Her specialisms in Criminology include prisons and probation, comparative criminal justice and court systems and the fear of crime phenomenon.

She is also the Legal Careers Counsellor for the Faculty of Law at Northeastern University London where she offers personal and tailor-made individual advice to all law students, providing advice for the professions of solicitor and barrister or further postgraduate study in law.


Teaching Appointments

Associate Professor in Law, Northeastern University London at Northeastern. LLB teaching (2015 – present).

Associate Professor in Law, University of Surrey, Guildford (2010 – 2018).

Associate Lecturer in Law, University of Portsmouth (2009 – 2014).

Visiting Professor, Max Planck Institute, Freiburg, Germany (from 2001).

Senior Lecturer in Law and Criminology, University of West London (1989 – 2009).


Course Development

Developing a Criminology syllabus as part of the Northeastern University LondonNU Mobility programme (2021-22).

Validation of a new MSc in Criminology, External Adviser to the University of Cumbria (2020-21)

Validation of a new Foundation Degree in Law, University of Law (Leeds Campus), External Adviser (2020-21)

Revalidation of the BA English, Internal Adviser/ Examiner, Northeastern University London (2020)

Revalidation of the LLB, Internal Validation Panel, Northeastern University London (2020)

Accelerate summer school for law and legal careers at Northeastern University London – assisted Prof E. Mytton with criminal law tutorials and legal careers presentation and development of the summer school programme (2020 – date)

Contribution to student-led and in-house magazines (e.g. CRUNCH; Res Publica). ‘Freedom of Speech and the Media’ – integral part of the Applied Ethics NUin course at Northeastern University London (2019).

Integrating the University of London LLB syllabus for Public Law and English Legal System into the Northeastern University London LLB Syllabus (2017-18).

Legal careers programme as part of the Northeastern University London LAUNortheastern University London syllabus: legal education with view towards the new Solicitor Qualifying Examination (SQE) (2018-date).

Revalidation of the LLB, External Adviser/ Examiner, Edghill University, Lancashire (2015).

Validation of the BA Journalism, Internal Adviser/ Examiner, University of West London (2008).

Revalidation of the BA Criminology, Internal Adviser/ Examiner, University of West London (2005).


Professional Activity

Ursula Smartt was a Magistrate (Justice of the Peace) from 2003 until 2020. She served as Presiding Justice on the Adult Bench at courts in West London (Ealing, Acton, Hammersmith) as well as on the Surrey and Sussex Benches, and as Presiding Youth Justice on the Surrey and Sussex Benches. She sat on criminal appeals at Crown Courts in Isleworth (West London) and at Guildford (Surrey). She was an appraiser of magistrates as well as mentor to new magistrates and was a member of the Surrey and Sussex Joint Training, Appointments and Appraisal Committee (JTAAAC). She also served on the Surrey Magistrates’ Association Executive Committee.

External Examiner in Law, Leeds Beckett University (2020 – date)

External Examiner in Law, Cumbria University (2019 – 2021)

External Examiner in Law, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen (2017 – 2020)

External Examiner in Law, Bournemouth University (2014 – 2017)

External Examiner in Law, Plymouth University (2010 – 2014)

Honorary Member of the British Society of Criminology (2015 – date)


Languages Spoken

Fluent in English and German. Proficient in French, Spanish and Italian.