Dr Vicky Kemp

Dr Vicky Kemp is an experienced researcher working on projects relating to criminal legal aid and access to justice in the criminal process. Having received her doctorate from the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, she is now Principal Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, in the School of Law. She is a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Expert and Advisory Panel, set up to assist Sir Christopher Bellamy QC in conducting the Criminal Legal Aid Review.

Vicky has experience of the criminal justice system as a paralegal, legal aid policy adviser and as a government social scientist. In conducting empirical research, she adopts an interdisciplinary approach and seeks to have an impact by engaging with policy makers, practitioners and academics. This is not only when trying to improve efficiencies and to achieve cost savings but also to enhance procedural safeguards. She is currently working with Lesley Laver and Nicola Carr on a Nuffield funded study to examine the impact of PACE on the detention and questioning of young suspects. For the first time in England and Wales, this will include engaging with children about their legal rights while held in police custody. Overseeing the important ethical issues arising is a Research Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe, Director of the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, and comprising senior academics who have experience of dealing with children and vulnerable people in the criminal process. There is also a Steering Group, chaired by Lord Carlile QC, and comprising national policy makers and practitioners involved with young suspects in the criminal justice system. As co-director of the Criminal Justice Research Centre at the University of Nottingham, her research is overseen locally by the Criminal Justice Research Centre’s Advisory Board, which includes chief officers involved in the criminal process. The Board is chaired by the Recorder of Nottingham, His Honour Judge Gregory Dickinson QC.


Current research

Nuffield funded study – JUS/FR-000000378: Examining the impact of PACE on the detention and questioning of young suspects
Continuing work on developing digital legal rights for suspects detained and interviewed by the police, including children and young people.

Recent Research

Comparative study of ‘Effective police station legal advice’ in six jurisdictions, a comparative study of young suspects, clinical legal education and police station legal advice.

Engagement and activities

Engaging with policy makers, practitioners and academics.

Digital legal rights – know your rights

How can people best be informed about their legal rights?


Chapters, Articles and Reports published by Dr Vicky Kemp.