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Personal profile


Dr Kate Gleeson is a senior lecturer at Macquarie Law School and a member of the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics (CAVE). Kate studied for her PhD at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), including time spent studying as a Chevening Scholar at the Department of Academic Legal Studies at Nottingham Trent University in the UK . She has held prestigious research fellowships in both law and politics at Macquarie University.

Kate is an executive board member of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, and has served as an executive member of Australian Political Studies Association. Kate is an editorial board member of the journal Current Issues in Criminal Justice. Prior to her academic career Kate worked at a number of public sector and development agencies in Australia and Vietnam.

Research student supervision

Peter Robinson (Phd) Application of the Psychology and Science of Reasoning to Legal Decision Making

Amira Aftab (Phd) Accommodating Sharia;  A Feminist Insittutionalist Analysis of Sharia Law in Australia, Canada and the UK

Kathryn Gooch (Phd) Because She's a Woman. Gender Stereotypes and Women's Participation in Australian Politics.

Fran Cole (Phd) Celebrity and Spectacle: Legal and Media Discourse in Gendered Violence in Three Countries


Kate is the Program Director of the interdisciplinary undergraduate major Public Policy, Law and Governance and currently convenes the following units:

Research interests

Kate is interested in in the governance and regulation of bodies, sexuality and reproductive practices and has published widely on the history of the regulation of sexual violence,  gay sex, pornography, abortion and sex work. She has particular expertise in justice for crimes of institutional and historical child sexual abuse in Australia and internationally. She is currently writing a book about historical prosecutions of child sexual abuse, and undertaking ongoing research about Irish and Australian histories of institutionalisation.

Education/Academic qualification

Politics and International Relations, phD, UNSW Australia

Political Science, Ba Hons 1st Class, UNSW Australia

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abortion Social Sciences
justice Social Sciences
sexual violence Social Sciences
church Social Sciences
homosexuality Social Sciences
law reform Social Sciences
offense Social Sciences
parliament Social Sciences

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Projects 2007 2017

Research Outputs 2004 2019

The age of consent: young people, sexual abuse and agency

Gleeson, K. (ed.) & Lumby, C. (ed.), Jun 2019, Perth: UWA Publishing. 180 p.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/AnthologyResearchpeer-review

Exceptional sexual harms: the Catholic Church and child sexual abuse claims in Australia

Gleeson, K., 2018, In : Social and legal studies. 27, 6, p. 734-754 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

sexual violence
private law

Unpaid wages: the experiences of Irish Magdalene Laundries and Indigenous Australians

Gallen, J. & Gleeson, K., Mar 2018, In : International Journal of Law in Context. 14, 1, p. 43-60 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

forced labor

A woman's work is… unfinished business: justice for the disappeared Magdalen women of modern Ireland

Gleeson, K., Nov 2017, In : Feminist Legal Studies. 25, 3, p. 291-312 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

women's work

We are all feminists now. How to pass an anti abortion law in Australia

Gleeson, K., 2017, Transcending borders. Abortion in the past and present. Stettner, S., Ackerman, K., Burnett, K. & Hay, T. (eds.). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 137-154 18 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review