Jeffrey Kennedy joined Queen Mary University of London as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Criminal Law in 2018, and currently teaches Criminal Law and Law of Evidence. Jeffrey completed his doctorate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, where he also taught Criminal Law as a Teaching Fellow and as part of the McGill-Shantou Summer Law Program. He also holds degrees from McGill University (LLM), University of Leicester (LLB), and Queen’s University (BA).
Jeffrey’s core research interests relate to criminal law and theory, with a focus on the public and political dimensions of criminal justice. His research has focused in particular on criminal sentencing as a site of public decision-making and the implications of democratic ideals for the processes that shape these decisions. He is an affiliate of the Deliberative Governance and Law project, and a member of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary.
Throughout his academic career, he has maintained active involvement in a variety of initiatives related to the themes of democracy and criminal law, and has worked closely with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals in Canada’s federal prison system.
- LAW5005 Criminal Law
- LAW6037 Law of Evidence
- LAW6169: Criminal Sentencing
Jeffrey’s research interests are primarily at the intersections of criminal law and democracy, and his work typically takes an interdisciplinary approach that draws on law, political science, and philosophy. His principal research project focuses on criminal sentencing and the ways in which the ideals of deliberative democracy can not only ground sentencing in a public framework but also provide resources for interpreting and addressing its foremost challenges. Accordingly, he engages with a number of controversies in criminal justice including theories of punishment, victim participation, and mandatory minimum sentencing to demonstrate the ways in which our democratic ideals can inform the inner workings of criminal justice.
In other research, he has explored the perceived legitimacy of novel democratic institutions as one of the lead researchers in an inter-university research project funded through a newDemocracy Foundation Research Grant. Addressing a key gap in the literature on the revival of random selection in politics, the project explored stakeholder perceptions of changes whereby elected, hierarchical student governments were replaced with those that were randomly selected and deliberative.
He is an affiliate of the Deliberative Governance and Law project, and a member of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary.
Peer Reviewed Articles
- “Justice as Justifiability: Mandatory Minimums, Section 12, and Deliberative Democracy” (2020) UBC Law Review (forthcoming)
- “The Citizen Victim: Reconciling the Public and Private in Criminal Sentencing” (2019) 13 Criminal Law and Philosophy 83
- “Democracy Transformed: Perceived Legitimacy of the Institutional Shift from Election to Random Selection of Representatives,” with Simon Pek and Adam Cronkright (2018) 14(1) Journal of Public Deliberation 3.
- Universities Should Be Spaces for Democratic Innovation” with Simon Pek and Graham Smith, Times Higher Education (26 April 2020)
- “What weight to give victims' sentencing recommendations?”, with Marie Manikis, The Montreal Gazette (24 April 2018)
- “Participatory Budgeting as Prisoner Reintegration,” (2018) Participedia
- “Democracy In Practice: Democratic Student Government Program in Cochabamba, Bolivia,” with A. Cronkright (2015) Participedia.
Throughout his academic career, Jeffrey has had ongoing involvement with a variety of public and community-based initiatives related to the themes that run throughout his research. In particular, he has had indepth involvement working with currently and formerly incarcerated individuals in Canada’s federal prison system, highlighted by his work with Montreal’s Communitas (2013-2018), where he served in a variety of roles, including Chair of the Board of Directors and Coordinator. He has also contributed to public discourse on criminal justice issues through media and as an invited participant in Canada’s federal Ministry of Justice Consultation on Criminal Justice Reform in 2017. Jeffrey is also a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Democracy In Practice, a non-profit organization dedicated to democratic experimentation and civic education, and has spoken and written about his involvement in democratic initiatives related to student government and prisoner reintegration.