Lisa M. Kelly is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University, Faculty of Law, where she teaches criminal law and evidence. She studied history and political science at the University of British Columbia (B.A) and is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law (J.D.) and Harvard Law School (S.J.D.), where she was a Trudeau Scholar. Kelly’s doctoral dissertation – Governing the Child: Parental Authority, State Power, and the School in North America – analyzed legal struggles over race and school discipline from the late-nineteenth century through the present. Before joining Queen’s, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia Law School and the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City. She previously served as a law clerk to Justice Marshall E. Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada. Kelly has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School.
In 2018, she received the Stanley M. Corbett Award for Teaching Excellence.
Kelly’s research lies at the intersection of criminal law and family law, with a focus on the historical and contemporary legal regulation of sex, reproduction, and family life. She is specifically interested in the ways in which competing ideological conceptions of childhood, race, and sexuality influence the work of legal actors and shape our laws and institutions.
Current projects include:
- Social and legal constructions of abortion travel
- Legal history of corporal punishment and the political economy of childhood
- Shifting boundaries in the disciplinary authority of public schools over students
Professor Kelly is currently leading a SSHRC-funded project on police powers in Canadian schools.
For a full list of Professor Kelly's publications, please consult her CV.
- “Judging Youth Time” (2023) 108 Supreme Court Law Review 85.
- "Pandemic Schooling and the Politics of Safety” (with Deniz Kilinc, Sonia Lawrence & Cosimo Morin), (2021) 46 Queen’s Law Journal 343.
- “Confronting Cannibalism” (with Shelby Percival), Review Essay on Hadley Friedland, The Wetiko Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization (Univ. Toronto Press, 2018) (2020) 33 Can. J. Family Law 359
- “A Tale of Two Cameras: Sex and Surveillance in R. v. Jarvis” (2019) 52 Criminal Reports 126.
- “Contesting Criminal Law: Honouring the Work of Professor Don Stuart” (Introduction to Special Issue), (2019) 44 Queen’s Law Journal i.
- “Abortion Travel and the Limits of Choice” (2016) 12 FIU Law Review 27.
- “The Work of Ideology in Canadian Legal Thought” (2016) 74 Supreme Court Law Review 27.
- “Reckoning with Narratives of Innocent Suffering in Transnational Abortion Litigation,” in Rebecca Cook, Joanna Erdman, and Bernard Dickens, eds., Abortion Law in Transnational Perspective: Cases and Controversies (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), 303-326.