Claire Mahon - ohoto


Claire Mahon is an international human rights lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a dual national of Australia and New Zealand. She has practiced as a lawyer both at the national and international level. 

She is a Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, where she is joint Coordinator of the Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and involved in numerous human rights projects in the policy studies division. She is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, and a guest lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. She also regularly teaches as a guest lecturer in various university courses on the topics of international human rights law, international organisations and public international law.

From 2009-2010 Claire was the Special Advisor to Mrs Mary Robinson (former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland) in her role as Chair of the GAVI Alliance. From 2007-2008 she was legal advisor to Mr Jean Ziegler, then UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (see further the former Research Unit on the Right to Food).

Claire has previously worked for Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Service for Human Rights, the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her work has focused on monitoring economic, social and cultural rights, including in the field. She has experience in designing and providing training on international human rights law and practice to diplomats, advocates, field officers, UN staff, and students in over 20 countries.

Claire has published on a variety of international human rights law topics, for academic publications and non-governmental organisations.  She is the principle author of Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights (Geneva: COHRE, 2007), and prepared the MultiStakeholder Guidelines for Mega-Events and Housing Rights (Geneva: COHRE, 2007), published in French, Spanish and ChineseShe is the co-author of The Fight for the Right to Food: Lessons Learned (with Jean Ziegler, Christophe Golay and Sally-Anne Way) published by Palgrave Macmillan in February 2011, and the co-editor of Realizing the Right to Health (with Andrew Clapham, Mary Robsinson, and Scott Jerbi), published by Rüffer and Rub in May 2009.  She has participated in drafting several UN reports, including the 2007 and 2008 annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and the report on his mission to Cuba.  She writes a monthly column as ‘Foreign Correspondent’ on human rights issues at the UN in the Australian Human Rights Law Centre Bulletin.

In 2007 Claire was invited to participate in the Programme des personnalités d’avenir (future world leaders programme) by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, only the second to be selected for work in global affairs.  In 2003 she was awarded the Paul Baker Memorial Prize by the Law Institute of Victoria for her contribution to human rights law in Australia. Prior to moving to Geneva, Claire worked as a corporate lawyer in mergers and acquisitions, at a top Australian law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Claire holds a Diplôme d’études approfondies (LLM/M.Phil equivalent) in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies; a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from the Australian National University (ANU); a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations and Development Studies) from ANU; and is completing a PhD on the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  She holds a diploma in French, and works in English and (embarrassingly badly) in French.

Curriculum Vitae

A copy of Claire's CV can be obtained on request.