Professor Sally Kyd

Head of Leicester Law School

School/Department: Law, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2372



I am an expert in Criminal Law, with my main specialism being in road traffic offences. My interest in this field originates from my PhD on vehicular homicide (awarded by the University of Leicester in 2004), after which my interest broadened and I developed my knowledge to become the leading legal academic in road traffic offences in the UK. I have spent the majority of my career at Leicester, and was honoured to be appointed the first female Head of School, having been both an undergraduate and graduate student here. 

I previously published under the names of Sally Cunningham and Sally Kyd Cunningham.


I engage in both empirical (socio-legal) and doctrinal legal research. In 2011-12, I held an AHRC Early Career Fellowship which funded a project to examine how the causing death by driving offences created by the Road Safety Act 2006 operate in practice. More recently (2018-19) I have been funded by the Road Safety Trust to complete a project entitled "Promoting Safety for Vulnerable Road Users: Assessing the Investigation and Enforcement of Endangerment Offences" which was the first empirical study to analyse the way in which offences such as careless and dangerous driving are enforced, and the factors that influence their effectiveness. This incorporated a focus on the emerging use of third party reporting to support the enforcement of such offences (through the submission of camera footage by members of the public) and identified best practice by police forces in relation to these offences. I have also worked with the Sentencing Council to assess sentencing guidelines for robbery and sexual offences. My doctrinal research has focused on principles of criminal law which are central to the allocation of blame and punishment, particularly in relation to homicide. 


S Kyd, T Elliott & MA Walters, Clarkson and Keating: Criminal Law 10th ed., Sweet & Maxwell 2020 ISBN 978-0-414-07555-9

S Kyd & S Cammiss 'Driving offences: promoting consistency for victims in "victimless" crimes of endangerment' [2020] Criminal Law Review 3: 220-240

G  Turton & S Kyd 'Causing Controversy: interpreting the requirements of causation in criminal law and tort law' [2020] N.I.L.Q. 70(4): 425-444

A Carline, E Palmer, S Kyd, M Burton, P Jooman and S Poppleton, Assessing the impact and implementation of the Sentencing Council's Robbery Definitive Guideline, Sentencing Council (2019) 

S Kyd 'Done to Death? Reform of Homicide Law' in Child and Duff (eds.) Criminal Law Reform Now, Hart 2018, pp.101-123, ISBN 978-1-509-91678-8 

S Cunningham 'Has law reform policy been driven in the right direction? How the new causing death by driving offences are operating in practice' [2013] Criminal Law Review 711-728

S Cunningham 'Recklessness: Being Reckless and Acting Recklessly' (2010) 21(3) King's Law Journal 445-467 

S Cunningham, Driving Offences: Law, Policy and Practice , Ashgate, 2008, ISBN 0 7546 4905 9

CMV Clarkson & S Cunningham (eds) Criminal Liability for Non-Aggressive Death, Ashgate, 2008, ISBN 0 7546 7334 0

S Cunningham 'Punishing Drivers who Kill: Putting Road Safety First?' (2007) 27 Legal Studies 288-311 

I am also a contributor to Blackstone's Criminal Practice, Part C, since 2020


I welcome approaches from prospective doctoral candidates in any field of Criminal Law and/or Justice but especially the prosecution of or substantive law relating to violent offences and traffic offences. I have supervised PGR students researching subjects as diverse as identity theft fitness to plead in India and the representativeness of juries in Canada.


Criminal Law LW2220 and Criminal Law (Advanced) LW3220

Press and media

The operation of the criminal justice system but particularly the law relating to homicide and road traffic offences.
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