Claire Houston

Claire Houston

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 has published in a number of journals, including the peer-reviewed Family Court Review. She was lead author on a recent study commissioned by the Ontario Association of Family and Conciliation Courts on child protection intervention in high conflict custody cases. She was also co-author of a report for the Department of Justice on children’s participation rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Claire has presented her work nationally and abroad, at academic and professional conferences as well as judicial education seminars.

Claire completed her S.J.D. at Harvard Law School. She also holds an LL.B. from Queen’s University and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Trent University. 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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

“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).

“The Case of Substance-Exposed Infants after Winnipeg Child and Family Services v. G. (D.F.)” (2011) 30 C.F.L.Q. 201.

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

“Sexual Abuse Allegations and Parental Alienation: Smokescreen or Fire?” (2007) 13 Journal of Family Studies 26 (with Nicholas Bala, Mindy Mitnick & Nico Trocme).

“Alienated Children and Parental Separation: Legal Responses in Canada’s Family Courts” (2007) 33 Queen’s L.J. 79 (with Nicholas Bala, Barbara Jo Fidler & Dan Goldberg).