Alison Cleland

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Senior Lecturer, Associate Head of School: Undergraduate

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 – ext: 5151



  • LLB (Hons) Edin
  • LLM (Leic)
  • PG Cert Academic Practice (Auck)

Memberships and Affiliations:


I was an enrolled solicitor in Scotland, where I represented children and young people in child protection and youth justice proceedings. I joined academia in 1999. My passion the rights of children and young people in legal proceedings. I am co-editor (with Sutherland) of Children’s Rights in Scotland (3rd ed., 2009, Greens, Edinburgh) and wrote a child protection textbook for lawyers and practitioners in Scotland Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Law (2008, Thomson/W Green). I came to Aotearoa in 2007 and had the privilege of researching and writing in the area of Youth Justice. With Quince, I wrote Youth Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand (2014, LexisNexis).

Teaching Areas:

  • Family Law and Children’s Rights
  • Youth Justice
  • Law of Contract

Research Areas:

  • Rights of children and young people
  • Legal representation of children
  • Youth Justice
  • Child Protection

Research Summary:

My research focuses on how the law responds to children and young people in various settings. I am particularly interested in the voices of children and young people in legal decisions and processes affecting them.

Current Research Projects:

  • Racist constructs in child protection law in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Formal and substantive justice in Youth Justice in Aotearoa New Zealand


Selected Publications

  • “A Long Lesson in Humility? The Inability of Child Care Law to promote the Well-Being of Children” in EE Sutherland and L-A Barnes (eds) Implementing Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (2016, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge), 131-146
  • “Will New Zealand’s Youth Justice System Take the Next Step?” in T Liefaard and J Sloth-Nielsen (eds) The United nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Taking Stock After 25 years and Looking Ahead (2016, Brill I Nijhoff, Leiden)
  • “Portrait of the Accused as a Young Man: New Zealand’s Harsh Treatment of Young People who commit Serious Offences” 2016 The Round Table, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Vol 105, 377 - 387
  • Youth Rights in Aotearoa New Zealand (2014, LexisNexis, Wellington) with K Quince
  • “Children’s and Young People’s Participation in Legal Proceedings in Aotearoa New Zealand: Significant Challenges Lie Ahead” 2013 NZLR 483 – 504
  • Youth advocates in Aotearoa/New Zealand’s Youth Justice System (2012, NZ Law Foundation)
  • “Double Jeopardy? Team Teaching in a Law School Elective” 2012, Macquarie Law Journal Vol 10, 1 – 22 with K Quince
  • “Focus on Welfare: The Importance of Personal Information to Youth Justice Decisions in Aotearoa/New Zealand” 2012 NZLR 573 – 603
  • Children’s Rights in Scotland (2009, 3rd ed., W Green, Edinburgh) with E E Sutherland
  • Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Law (2008, Thomson/W Green, Edinburgh)
  • “Hearing and Understanding? Child Witnesses and the Evidence Act” 2008 NZLJ 425-427