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School of Law

Professor Geraldine Van Bueren KC


Professor Emerita

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3965
Room Number: Mile End


Professor Geraldine Van Bueren KC held the Chair of International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London and is Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford. She is a barrister and member of Doughty Street Chambers and was appointed an honorary King’s Counsel in recognition of her scholastic contributions to national and international law. At the time of her appointment there were fewer than ten women honorary silks.

Professor Van Bueren is also a Bencher in the Middle Temple. She has served as a Commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission with lead responsibility for human rights and on the Attorney-General’s International Pro Bono Committee.

In 2003, Professor Van Bueren was awarded the Child Rights Lawyer Award. The Award, jointly organised by the Law Society, UNICEF and The Lawyer, recognises lawyers who have done outstanding work in the field of children's rights.

Professor Van Bueren is one of the original drafters of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and also helped draft the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, the UNHCR Guidelines on Refugee Children and the United Nations Programme of Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System.

She has represented the United Nations in discussions with Iran; the Commonwealth Secretariat in Bangladesh and advised the Government of Japan and Unicef. She has also acted as an expert witness for the Government of Canada and has lectured and worked throughout Europe and the United States and in Argentina, Senegal, Uganda and Venezuela. From 2002 to 2006 Professor Van Bueren held a second concurrent chair the W P Schreiner Professor, Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Cape Town.

Professor Van Bueren co-founded INTERIGHTS, represented Amnesty International for ten years at the UN on children's rights and is a member of the Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch (Children's Rights Project), Child Rights International and is on the Advisory Board of Rene Cassin. She has also served as a non-executive director and Trustee of Save the Children.

Professor Van Bueren is Chair of the Association of Working Class Academics, edited Law’s Duty to the Poor for UNESCO and is one of a group of academics who together with non-governmental organisations are drafting an Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Act for the United Kingdom.

Professor Van Bueren QC's writings have been cited in courts around the world, including the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the European Court of Human Rights and also in legislatures including the US Senate and the Australian Parliament.

She founded the Human Rights Collegium at Queen Mary University of London and served as its director.

Professor Van Bueren has been interviewed by Angelina Jolie in Time magazine and her profile in the Guardian went viral.  She is currently writing a monograph, ‘Class and Law’ (Hart).



Key publications

January 2008 onwards

  • Geraldine Van Bueren, "Socio-Economic Rights and a Bill of Rights – An Overlooked British Tradition", Public Law 2013, 821.
  • Geraldine Van Bueren ed., Freedom from Poverty As a Human Right 394 pages. United Nations Educational 30 Jan 2010
  • Geraldine Van Bueren, Fulfilling Law's Duty to the Poor in Freedom From Poverty as a Human Right. Editors: Van Bueren G. 4: 1-20. unesco Publishing, paris 2010 Reporting date: 01 Jan 2010
  • Geraldine Van Bueren, Acknowledging Children as International Citizens: A Child Sensitive Communications Mechanism for the Convention on the Rights of the Child in The Human Rights of Children. Editors: Invernizzi A, Williams JM. 354 pages. Ashgate Publishing 16 May 2011
  • Van Bueren, Committee on the Rights of the Child - 'Overcoming Inertia in this Age of No Alternatives' in Langford ed., Social Rights Jurisprudence. Emerging Trends in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-86094-9, 2008, pp 569-591
  • Van Bueren, Child Rights in Europe, Convergence and Divergence in Judicial Protection, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2008. 200pp. Sole Authored.
    The Preface, written by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe describes the book as "comprehensive" and "an impressive piece of work".  It is currently being translated into French by the Council of Europe and will be available as  Les Droits des Enfants en Europe (2008)ISBN  978-92-871-6299-1, to be published on 7 July 2008.
  • Van Bueren, The Separation of Powers and the International Legal Status of the Best Interests of the Child in Assisting Domestic Courts Protect Children's Economic and Social Rightsin Collins, Grondin et al eds, Rights of the Child Proceedings of the International Conference, Wilson and Lafleur, Montreal. ISBN 978-2-89127-831-7, 2008, pp 237-273 (15,000 words)
    It will be published in Spanish in Van Bueren, La Separacion de Poderes y el Status en Derecho Internacional del Mejor Interes del Nino como forma de Asistir a los Tribunales Locales en la Proteccion de los Derechos Economicos y Sociales de los Ninos, Actas de la Convferencia Internacional sobre los Derechos del Nino; Buenos Aires, Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Before 2007

  • Van Bueren, ‘Article 40 -Child Criminal Justice’ in Alen et al ed., A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,  Martinus Nijhoff, 1-31, 2006
  • 'The Cluster of Rights' in Cheadle, Davis and Haysom South African Constitutional Law (Butterworths, Durban, 2005) 491
  • No Turning Back - The Right to Housing is Justiciable' in Cheadle, Davis and Haysom South African Constitutional Law (Butterworths, Durban, 2005)
  • 'The Right to be the Same the Right to be Different' in Lindholm et al (eds), Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook (Nijhoff, London, 2004)
  • 'Racism and Human Rights, Slavery as Piracy - The Legal Case for Reparations for Slavery' in van der Anker (ed), Political Economy of New Slavery (Palgrave, London, 2003)235
  • Van Bueren, Children’s Constitutional Rights, Amicus Curiae 2003. 27 – 32
  • 'Including the Excluded: The Case for an Economic, Social and Cultural Human Rights Act' [2002] Public Law 456
  • Van Bueren, ‘The Minimum Core of Article 10(3)’ in Chapman and Russell eds. Exploring the Minimum Core Content of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Intersentia and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, August 2002
  • Van Bueren, ‘Of Floors and Ceilings: Minimum Core Obligations and Children’, in Brand and Russell eds.  The Minimum Core Content of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: South African Perspectives.’ Juta 2002
  • Child Sexual Exploitation and the Law'  - commissioned by the Government of Japan and UNICEF for the World Congress on Child Sexual Exploitation, Yokohama 200l.
  • International Documents on Children (2nd edn, Kluwer, Amsterdam, 1998)
  • Childhood Abused: Protecting Children against Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (Aldershot, Dartmouth, 1998)
  • International Law on the Rights of the Child (Kluwer, Amsterdam, 1998)


Professor Van Bueren welcomes proposals for postgraduate supervision in the fields of international human rights law, international children's rights, and international anti-poverty law.

Public Engagement

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