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School of Law

Dr Kate Leader


Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law

Twitter: @@leader_kate


Kate is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law at Queen Mary. Prior to this, Kate was a Senior Lecturer at the University of York, where she worked from 2017-2023. Kate has also been a sessional lecturer in both Criminal Justice and Theatre Studies at Birkbeck, University of London as well as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at LSE Law and University of Sydney.

Kate holds a doctorate in law from the LSE on the oral history life stories of litigants in person in the civil justice system (her monograph on this topic was published by Hart in 2024).

Kate also holds a doctorate in theatre and performance studies (USYD) and her work draws on methods from both disciplines. Kate’s first PhD researched the role of performance in the adversarial criminal trial. In 2023 she presented on the Theatre of the Trial at the All Souls Seminar Series, University of Oxford and on Law and Performance for a podcast from the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. She is currently researching the role of ‘liveness’ in legal proceedings in the face of the increased use of technology.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching


Kate is currently co-PI of a project funded by the Society of Legal Scholars Research Activities Fund on lawyers’ perceptions of lay magistrates and the Magistracy. This research entails a pilot study holding focus groups to explore perceptions of legitimacy of the Magistracy. Their work has been written about in The Times and the Law Society Gazette.

Kate is also co-I on an ESRC Policing and Vulnerability Centre project on Defendants as Victims. In collaboration with Dr Ailbhe O’Loughlin (University of York), they are preparing a report for the Law Commission on defendants who are also victims of crime. 

Kate's monograph, Litigants in Person in the Civil Justice System, was published by Hart in 2024)

Kate's primary research areas are: access to justice, conspiracy theories, laypersons and the law, criminal law and criminal justice, and law and performance.



Dr Leader welcomes proposals for topics in the area of litigants in person, access to justice, criminal law and criminal justice, and law and the humanities.

Public Engagement

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