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Ms Elisabeth Griffiths

Principal Lecturer and Director of Enterprise and Engagement

Department: Northumbria Law School


Elisabeth obtained a BA (Hons) from Newcastle University in Government and European Community Studies before undertaking a CPE and LPC at the College of Law. Elisabeth was a trainee solicitor with Eversheds Sutherland LLP at their offices in Newcastle upon Tyne and qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 working in the Employment Department. Elisabeth joined Northumbria Law School as a Senior Lecturer specialising in employment law. In 2003 she returned to Eversheds and practised as a Professional Support Lawyer in the Employment and Human Resources team.

She returned to Northumbria University as a Senior Lecturer in 2005. In 2009 Elisabeth became a Principal Lecturer and Director of Employer Engagement for the Law School, delivering on an ambitious employer engagement and workforce development project under the auspices of the University’s SDF project. Elisabeth also secured the contract to train the staff at the newly formed Legal Ombudsman in Birmingham. She has also developed a Masters programme in Employment Law in Practice and a number of work-based learning programmes for the Law School.

In 2013 Elisabeth became Director of Placements for the Faculty of Business and Law delivering a successful long term plan for growth in placements for the Faculty.

In 2017, building on her research interests in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Elisabeth became the Academic Lead for Northumbria Law School’s Athena SWAN application.

Elisabeth is also studying for a Professional Doctorate in Law exploring equality and diversity issues within legal education, the legal profession and employers more widely. The focus of the research is specifically on students with disabilities and their future ‘possible selves’. The study takes a phenomenological approach to the lived experience of students with disabilities as they plan for their professional lives as lawyers. The study focuses on employability and inclusive education. Supervisors: Professor Chris Ashford and Professor Ron Beadle. Submission March 2020.

Campus Address

Room 309, City Campus East 1
Northumbria University

0191 243 7343


CPE and LPC College of Law.

 BA (Hons) Government and European Community Studies, Newcastle University.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research expertise combines Employment Law, Work-based learning, Employability and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Legal Education. My particular areas of expertise are religious discrimination and disability discrimination. I have explored and researched extensively on the perceived and possible hierarchies and privileges that exist within Equality Law and how this has an impact on the employment relationship, on legal education, employability and on the legal profession.

Professional Activity


Key Publications

McKee, T. Nir, R. Alexander, J. Griffiths, E. Hervey, T. (2018) “The Fairness Project: Doing what we can, where we are” Journal of International and Comparative Law, special edition on Legal Education eds. Professor Alan Reed and Professor Elaine Hall (in press publication June 2018).

Griffiths, E. (2016) “The ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religion: Is this a better way of advancing equality in cases of religious discrimination?” International Journal of Discrimination and the Law Vol. 16, no. 2-3, pp. 161-176, first published online on July 11, 2016.

Abstract: Freedom of religion and the manifestation of religious belief can clash with working life in a number of ways, including time away from work for religious observance, conflicts over religious clothing and jewellery in an employer’s dress code or a request for a variation of duties based on a particular religious belief. Guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2013) following Eweida and others v. UK [2013] 57 EHRR 8 seems to suggest that employers in Great Britain should consider the ‘reasonable accommodation’ of religion in the workplace and, in particular, how an individual chooses to manifest that religious belief. Subsequently, there has been much debate about whether this is a better way of dealing with religious discrimination cases than the current complex legal framework of direct and indirect discrimination in the Equality Act 2010. Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 already allows for reasonable adjustments to be made to working practices and the physical working environment for disabled employees. Should this duty be expanded to include religion and what would be the consequences and impact of such an accommodation or adjustment on the employment relationship?

Cited in Religion or Belief: Is the Law Working? Equality and Human Rights Commission Report, December 2016.

Griffiths, E. (2016) Analysing Race Inequality in Employment Lexis PSL Employment Law, Lexis Nexis.

Griffiths, E. & Atkin, L. (2009) Employment Law Chapter in Information Sharing Handbook (eds. Claire Bessant and Phil Tomkins, Law Society Publishing, London.

Griffiths, E. & Fitzpatrick, S. (2008) “Strike out the Bullies”, New Law Journal, Vol.158 (7329), p.988(2).

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