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, Rachel Birnbaum & Nicholas Bala, “Exploring the Costs and Benefits of Virtual Family Law in Ontario: Perspectives of Professionals” Canadian Bar Review (forthcoming).

Claire Houston, “Social Parenthood in Canada” in Clare Huntington, Courtney Joslin and Christiane von Bary, Social Parenthood in Comparative Perspective (New York University Press, 2023).

Claire Houston, “Spousal Support for Men: An Analysis of Reported Canadian Decisions” (2023) 42Canadian Family Law Quarterly 1. 

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

Claire Houston, “Case Annotation: A v A” (2022) 81 Canadian Cases on the Law of Torts (4th) 130.

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

Claire Houston, “Respecting and Protecting Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children in Family Courts” (2020) 33 Canadian Journal of Family Law 103.

Claire Houston, “Case Comment: Undermining Children’s Rights in AM v CH” (2020) 39 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 99.

Claire Houston, “Case Comment: M (Children), Re” (2018) 7 Reports of Family Law (8th) 95.

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

Claire Houston, “Whatever Happened to the Child Maltreatment Revolution” (2017) 19 Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law 1.

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

Claire Houston, “How Feminist Theory Became (Criminal) Law: Tracing the Path to Mandatory Criminal Interventions in Domestic Violence Cases” (2014) 21 Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 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) 65Reports of Family L:aw 397.