Professor Mallinder's research interests relate to the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and law and politics in political transitions. Within these areas of research, she has a longstanding and internationally recognised expertise in amnesty laws, and in recent years, she has worked on projects relating to the role of lawyers as transitional actors, dealing with the past in Northern Ireland, and socio-legal research methods related to transitional justice. As part of multiple collaborative research projects, she has carried out fieldwork in a number of transitional contexts including Cambodia, Chile, South Africa, Israel, Palestine, Tunisia, Argentina, Uruguay, Uganda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Her research has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation, the Socio-Legal Studies Association, and the Department for International Development.
Professor Mallinder is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Higher Education Academy. She has been awarded the British Society of Criminology Book Prize (jointly awarded) and the Hart Socio-Legal Studies Association Early Career Prize. She is also a member of the Institute for Integrated Transitions Law and Peace Practice Group, the Royal Irish Academy's Ethical, Political, Legal, and Philosophical Committee, and the ESRC and AHRC Peer Review Colleges. In addition, she was Chair of the Committee on the Administration of Justice, a human rights non-governmental organisation based in Belfast, Northern Ireland from (2015-2020) and is serving as Vice-Chair in 2020.