Claire Breen

Claire Breen (BCL NUI, LLM PhD Nott) is a professor of international law at Waikato University. Professor Breen is recognised, both nationally and internationally, as a legal expert on children’s rights. Her research explores how law and policy for children can be grounded in a more inclusive understanding of children and their rights. Claire has published extensively in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as edited collections that have been published nationally and internationally. Her monographs The Standard of the Best Interests of the Child (Martinus Nijhoff, 2003) and Age Discrimination and Children’s Rights (Martinus Nijhoff, 2006) continue to influence the discourse on children’s rights.
Claire has also explored the interrelationship between socio-economic rights can play and the maintenaces of international peace and security. The culmination of this research was her monograph Economic and Social Rights and the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (Routledge, 2017) where she explored the manner in which economic and social rights, as legal tools that have been largely overlooked in this space, can contribute to international peace and security.
Claire and her Te Piringa colleague, Professor Alexander Gillespie, have co-authored a legal history of New Zealand entitled People, Law and Power: A Legal History of New Zealand (Hart 2021, forthcoming) that explores the development of this country’s legal framework as a means to challenge internal and external threats and to ensure stability and equality. This research was also supported by a grant from the New Zealand Law Foundation.
Claire has published a number of opinion pieces on children’s rights, human rights, equality and discrimination, which have been published in New Zealand and internationally.