Claire Methven O’Brien profile image

Claire Methven O’Brien

Reader in Law (Associate Professor) and Director, LLM Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights and ESG Law.

University of Dundee


Claire Methven O’Brien has twenty years’ experience of advising governments, international businesses, international development agencies, financial institutions, and human rights organisations. Claire holds a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, and other degrees from Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Political Science and City University, London. Claire is a Barrister called to the London Bar and a member of the Middle Temple.

Claire is a Baxter Fellow and Lecturer in Law at University of Dundee, and Chief Adviser and Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Management at the University of St. Andrews. Her expertise includes EU sustainable business laws, non-financial reporting and ESG investment, corporate sustainability due diligence, public procurement, and forced labour and modern slavery.

She has been invited to provide analysis and present her research by the governments of the United States and Japan, the European Parliament, the International Organisation of Employers, International Chambers of Commerce, International Bar Association, the Council of Europe, Swedish national pension funds and Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, amongst others. Claire leads Realising the SDGs: The role of responsible business, a major research grant programme funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs/DANIDA, Research collaboration projects in Danida priority countries (EUR1.26million/9.4 million DKK, Apr 2018-May 2022). She has also been Co-Principal Investigator on research grants from the British Academy and Carnegie Trust.

She has been a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and held visiting positions at the University of Groningen Department for International Law and New York University School of Law. She is also an Associate of the University of Greenwich’s Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group.

Recent Relevant Publications

  1. 2023
    Commission Proposal for a Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market:
    The issue of remedies. European Parliament.
    Methven O’brien, C. & Weatherburn, A. (2023)
  2. 2022
    Commission proposal on corporate sustainability due diligence:
    analysis from a human rights perspective. European Union.
    Methven O'Brien, C., & Martin-Ortega, O. (2022)
  3. 2022
    National action plans on business and human rights: an experimentalist governance analysis
    Human Rights Review, 23(1), 71-99.
    Methven O'Brien, C., Ferguson, J., & McVey, M. (2022)
  4. 2022
    Business and human rights and regional systems of human rights protection: applying a governance lens
    In A. Marx, J. Wouters, & G. Van Calster (Eds.), Research Handbook on Global Governance and Business and Human Rights (pp. 44-74). (Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series). Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Methven O'Brien, C. (2022)