Dr Chloë Kennedy
Chloë’s main research interests are criminal law, legal theory, legal history, and the relationship between these areas. She is particularly interested in intellectual and cultural legal history, focussing on the ways that prevailing ideas have shaped the law's development and continue to inform our contemporary assumptions. Her research also focuses on law and gender and law and religion.
Along with Prof Sharon Cowan (Edinburgh) and Prof Vanessa Munro (Warwick), Chloë runs the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project.
Chloë is undertaking an AHRC research leader fellowship to investigate identity deception. The project asks when, if ever, it is appropriate to punish a person who engages in identity deception (pretending to be someone they are not). Focussing on two areas of identity deception in particular - identity 'theft' and intimate deceptions - the project examines how the criminal law is increasingly being used, and is increasingly being expected to be used, to penalise this kind of conduct.
Although distinct in many ways, these two developments represent an expansion of the criminal law's scope and a redrawing of the lines between law and morality, and between deceptions that will be tolerated and those that will not. They also suggest a growing concern with protecting 'identity' via the criminal law and an elision of legal categories.
By tracing how law has responded to identity deception across the modern period (i.e. the 18th century to the present), and identifying the factors that have shaped these responses, the project aims to understand how and why these changes have occurred and to identify what is at stake in the transformation. By asking questions about how we have got to where we are, and what alternative normative resources and ethical frameworks we might have abandoned (or failed to explore) along the way, the project aims to transform and enrichen debates about how to conceptualise identity deception and how and when law ought to sanction this kind of conduct. These deliberations have important practical consequences for how law pursues justice, so the project will also aim to help shape how, and against whom, the law is applied in practice.
Chloë welcomes proposals for the supervision of PhD students who would like to work on: criminal law theory; criminal law / justice; legal history and the history of legal thought (especially 18th and 19th century); law and religion; law and gender.