Kate Puddister

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Phone number: 
519 824 4120 x52424
MCKN 510
Education (doctoral degree): 
McGill University, Political Science

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Kate Puddister is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph, and she contributes to the Political Science, Criminal Justice and Public Policy (CCJP), Justice and Legal Studies (JLS) programs.

Dr. Puddister’s research and teaching focus on law and politics, criminal justice policy and Canadian politics. She is the author of Seeking the Court’s Advice: The Politics of the Canadian Reference Power (UBC Press, 2019) and the co-editor of Constitutional Crossroads: Contemplations on Charter Rights, Reconciliation and Constitutional Change (UBC Press, 2022). Kate’s work has appeared in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Revue Général de Droit, among others. Kate’s recent and ongoing research examines the principle of open court in the digital age (with Dr. Tamara A. Small), sentencing policy, and police oversight in Canada. 

Dr. Puddister holds a B.A. (honours) in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph, an M.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy from the University of Guelph, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from McGill University.


  • Puddister, Kate and Emmett Macfarlane (editors) 2022. Constitutional Crossroads: Contemplations on Charter Rights, Reconciliation, and Constitutional Change. UBC Press.
  • Puddister, Kate. 2019. Seeking the court's Advice: The Politics of the Canadian Reference Power. UBC Press.

Select Journal Articles

  • Puddister, Kate and Danielle McNabb. Forthcoming. "Police Oversight in Practice: Special Investigations Unit and Civilian Police Oversight in Ontario, Canada." Policing & Society. Available on FirstView
  • McNabb, Danielle and Kate Puddister. 2024. "To Serve and Protect? An Empirical Study of Police-Involved Sexual Assault." Women & Criminal Justice 34(2): 149-170
  • Koning, Edward and Kate Puddister. 2024. "Common Sense Justice? Comparing Populist and Mainstream Right Positions on Law and Order in 24 Countries." Party Politics 30(2): 223-235
  • Puddister, Kate. 2023. "Civilian Police Oversight and Accountability for Serious Incidents in Canada." Canadian Public Administration 66(3): 390-408
  • Puddister, Kate. 2021. "What We've Got Here is Failure to Cooperate: Provincial Governments and the Canadian Reference Power." Revue Générale de Droit 51: 91-128
  • Puddister, Kate ad Danielle McNabb. 2021. "When the Police Break the Law: The Investigation, Prosecution and Sentencing or Ontario Police officers," Canadian Journal of Law and Society 36(3): 381-404
  • Puddister, Kate. 2021. "THow the Canadian Sentencing System Impacts Policy Reform - An Examination of the Harper Era," Law & Policy 43(2): 149-169
  • Small, Tamara A. and Kate Puddister, 2020. "Play-by-Play Justice: Tweeting Criminal Trials in the Digital Age," Criminal Journal of Law and Society 35(1): 1-22
  • Puddister, Kate. 2019. "The Canadian Reference Power: Delegation to the Courts and the Navigation of Federalism." Publius: The Journal of Federalism 49(4):561-586