Clare Patton

Clare Patton


  • Room 05.013 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile

Research Interests

Clare's research interests lie at the intersection of business, health, and human rights. She has a special interest in the commercial determinants of maternal and child health. Clare is currently involved in two international projects. She was invited to join an international consortium of researchers to work together on the development of a harmonized international approach to the advancement and protection of infant and young child food rights. Clare's current article (in-progress) unpacks breastfeeding as a human right and establishes how legal tools can be used to protect breastfeeding from harmful business practices.

Clare's interest in the commercial determinants of health grew from her PhD work. She graduated from Queen's University Belfast in December 2017 with a PhD in the field of corporate law. The thesis was a socio-legal study of multi-national corporations (MNCs) who use breast cancer as a form of cause-related marketing. She identified a typology used by MNCs of the 'ideal breast cancer patient'. In 2018, Clare became the inaugural ESRC NINE DTP Fellow in the School of Law when she won ESRC funding to carry out a study to empirically test her PhD hypothesis that 'pink ribbon' campaigns can have a negative effect on those living with a breast cancer diagnosis. She carried out this research project in the Health and Human Rights Unit under the mentorship of Professor Therese Murphy. In September 2019, Clare hosted a symposium at QUB to present her research findings. This working paper has now been adapted to an academic article and is due for publication imminently. Clare continues to work with stakeholders to implement the changes to breast cancer cause-related marketing campaigns that she mapped out during her fellowship research.



Clare is an award-winning educator who uses a research-led teaching approach in the design and delivery of her Business and Human Rights modules which she teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is module convener for the LLM Business and Human Rights module and the Governing the Firm (previously 'Corporate Governance') LLM module. Clare has also taught Legal Methods & Skills; Tort Law; EU Constitutional Law; Constitutional Law in Context; Contemporary Issues in the Law of Obligations and various skills masterclasses such as plagiarism and referencing sessions. 

In 2018, Clare recognised a gap in the skills development of law students and designed and developed the Global Skills Project (GSP). The core focus of GSP is the enhancement of the soft skills of QUB law students. The students attend bespoke sessions on topics such as public speaking; critical thinking; the importance of using 'plain English in the law'; peer-to-peer collaboration; independent research; interdisciplinary research; vlog filming and editing and blog publication. Some of the sessions GSP has delivered include Law & Storytelling with Booker prizewinning author Roddy Doyle and a Q&A session on communicating with a wide audience with Belfast-based journalist Amanda Ferguson. Upcoming events for GSP students include the final of the 'Law Reform Project' which will see GSP students orally defend their proposed legislative amendments in front of an esteemed panel of legal experts (postponed due to Covid-19).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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