Claire Houston

Claire Houston

Academic Degrees:

B.A. (Hons.) (Trent University)
LL.B. (Queen’s University)
LL.M. (Harvard Law School) (waived)
S.J.D. (Harvard Law School)

Phone: 519 661-2111 ext. 88405
Office: LB 22

Claire Houston joined Western Law in 2018. Her primary research interests include family law, children’s law, feminist legal theory, and criminal law, with a particular focus on state regulation of the family.

Claire is currently leading a study looking at the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the family justice system in Ontario, which is being funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. She is also the 2021 recipient of the Dean’s Research Fellowship for her project on spousal support for men. 

In 2019, Claire was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Explore Grant for her project, “Respecting and Protecting Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Children in Canada’s Family Courts.”

Claire’s work has appeared in the Canadian Journal of Family Law, the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, and the Family Court Review. She is co-editor (with Mary-Jo Maur and Nicholas Bala) of the casebook Family Law: Text, Cases, Materials & Notes, 10th Edition.

Claire’s awards and distinctions include the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, the Byse Teaching Fellowship (Harvard Law School), the Julius B. Richmond Fellowship (Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University) and the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.

Claire articled at the Ontario Office of the Children’s Lawyer before clerking for justices of the Ontario Court of Appeal. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2008.

Research Highlights

Claire Houston, “Social Parenthood in Canada” in Clare Huntington, Courtney Joslin and Christiane von Bary, Social Parenthood in Comparative Perspective (NYU Press, forthcoming).

Claire Houston, Rachel Birnbaum & Nicholas Bala, “Moving Towards a Post-Pandemic ’New Normal’: Perspectives of Ontario Family Justice Professionals and Self-Represented Litigants” (2022) 41 CFLQ 1.

Claire Houston, “Case Annotation: A v A” (2022) 81 CCLT (4th) 130.

Claire Houston, Rachel Birnbaum, Nicholas Bala & Kate Deveau, “Ontario Family Justice in ‘Lockdown’: Early Pandemic Cases and Professional Experience” (2022) 60:2 Fam. Ct. Rev. 241.

Claire Houston, “Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts” (2020) 33:1 Can. J. Fam. L. 103.

Claire Houston, “Case Comment: Undermining Children’s Rights in A.M. v. C.H.” (2020) 39 C.F.L.Q. 99.

Claire Houston, “Case Comment: M (Children), Re” (2018) 7 R.F.L. (8th) 95.

Claire Houston, “The Trouble with Feminist Advocacy Around Child Victims of Domestic Violence” (2018) 39 Women’s Rts. L. Rep. 85.

Claire Houston, “Whatever Happened to the Child Maltreatment Revolution?” (2017) 19 Geo. J. Gender & L. 1.

Claire Houston, Nicholas Bala & Michael Saini, “Crossover Cases of High-Conflict Families Involving Child Protection Services: Ontario Research Findings and Suggestions for Good Practices” (2017) 55 Fam. Ct. Rev. 362.

Claire Houston & Nicholas Bala, Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Children’s Participatory Rights in Canada (Department of Justice, 2015).

Claire Houston, “How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing the Path to Mandatory Criminal Interventions in Domestic Violence Cases” (2014) 21 Mich. J. Gender & L. 217 (excerpted in Nancy K.D. Lemon, Domestic Violence Law, 5th ed., 2018).

Claire Houston, “Case Comment: Manitoba (Director of Child & Family Services) v C. (A.)” (2009) 65 R.F.L. 397.