Projects per year
Dr Claire Bessant joined Northumbria University’s School of Law in 2002 having made the decision to move to academia from private practice where she worked as a solicitor specialising in family law. She has since published in the fields of family law, privacy law, information sharing and human rights, and has contributed to government and parliamentary consultations, on both domestic violence and online privacy. Claire's PhD thesis integrated study of both family and information rights law, asking 'Do parents believe that the family should be afforded privacy, and if so, to what extent do parents believe the law affords effective protection to family privacy, particularly family information privacy.' Claire is currently working on a monograph Family Privacy, Law and Ideology, to be published by Routledge, which will build upon her PhD research.
Claire is joint Managing Editor of the open-access Journal of Law, Technology and Trust. At Northumbria, she is a member of both the Gender, Sexuality and Law Research Interest Group and the Family Justice Research Interest Group. Claire is also a member of the Association of Internet Researchers, the International Society of Family Law and the Society of Legal Scholars.
Claire’s teaching covers a variety of areas including research skills and information law (including data protection, access to environmental information and inter-agency information sharing for child protection purposes). Claire has also taught on the undergraduate and postgraduate Childcare Law and Family Law modules and on the undergraduate distance learning English Legal Systems module.
Claire has undertaken a number of administrative roles whilst at Northumbria, including Programme Director, Faculty Director of Programme Approvals and Review, Director of Education for Postgraduate Law Programmes and most recently Director of Education for Law.
Claire is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a reviewer for the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme and has sat as an expert member on several panels considering the validation of a number of law-related programmes at other institutions .
Claire’s most recent research is focused upon privacy and the protection of personal and family information.
Claire is particularly interested in the concept of family privacy and the potential conflict between family privacy and children’s rights. Family privacy is here understood as an ideology which protects the family from the intervention of state and society and enables the family (notably parents) to take decisions about the family and children’s upbringing. Claire's doctoral thesis titled 'Parental Views about the Importance of Family Privacy and its Protection in English Law was examined by Professor Jonathan Herring, Exeter College, Oxford and Professor Dawn Watkins, Leicester, and used empirical methods to explore parents’ understanding of family privacy and the laws protecting such privacy. The thesis proposes a new framework for understanding the relationship between family, state and society and a new definition of family privacy which reflects both how parents understand the term and jurisprudential views on the family and how it should be protected from state and society.
Claire's recent research also explores the concept of 'sharenting' (a term used when parents share information about their children online). In 2018 she published her analysis of the legal remedies afforded to children in the UK whose information is shared online by their parents . She has more recently been working with an international, interdisciplinary team of academics to develop further understanding of the sharenting phenomenon, the benefits that sharenting brings and the risks that it poses, with a view to identifying further avenues for research and developing policy recommendations.
Claire has recently completed work as co-investigator for the Observatory for the Monitoring for Data-Driven Approaches to Covid-19 (OMDDAC) project. OMDDAC is a collaboration between Northumbria University & the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), funded by AHRC, which researches data-driven approaches to Covid-19, and is focused upon the legal, ethical, policy and operational challenges posed by data-driven approaches during the pandemic. Claire led on OMDDAC's research with young people which asked 'Are young people aware of how data (including their own personal data) has been used during the pandemic and if so, what views do they hold about its use?'
Claire is currently undertaking a research project exploring the parental role as privacy steward in the context of schools requests to use children's images and biometric information.
Law, PhD, University of Leicester
30 Sep 2013 → 20 May 2021
Award Date: 20 May 2021
Academic Studies in Education, MA
2008 → 2011
Award Date: 1 Nov 2011
2000 → 2002
Award Date: 1 Jul 2002
Law, LLB (Hons)
1 Sep 1990 → 30 Jun 1994
Award Date: 1 Jul 1994
- 1 Similar Profiles
Dive into details
Select a country/territory to view shared publications and projects
Bessant, C., 30 Sep 2022, In: European Journal of Law and Technology. 13, 2, 33 p., 872.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Bessant, C. & Schnebbe, M., 1 Jun 2022, In: Datenschutz und Datensicherheit. 46, 6, p. 352-356 5 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Ong, L. L., Fox, A., Cook, L., Bessant, C., Gan, P., Hoy, M., Nottingham, E., Pereira, B. & Steinberg, S., 1 Sep 2022, In: Journal of Consumer Affairs. 56, 3, p. 1106-1126 21 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Ong, L. L., Fox, A., Cook, L., Bessant, C., Gan, P., Hoy, M., Nottingham, E., Pereira, B. & Steinberg, S., 9 Jun 2022, 2022 AMA Marketing and Public Policy Conference: The Role of Marketing in Imagining a Better Post-Pandemic World: Addressing Structural Disparities, Sustainability and Social Change. Finkelstein, S., Mirabito, A. & Yeh, M. (eds.). United States of America: American Marketing Association, Vol. 32. p. 237-239 3 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Conference contribution › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile
Bessant, C., 13 Oct 2021, p. 1-4. 4 p.
Research output: Contribution to conference › PaperOpen Access
Claire Bessant (Participant)25 Nov 2022
15 Nov 2022
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Organising a conference, workshop, ...
Claire Bessant (Participant), Laurel Cook (Participant), L Lin Ong (Participant), Alexa Fox (Participant), Pingping Gan (Participant), Mariea Hoy (Participant), Emma Nottingham (Participant), Beatriz Pereira (Participant) & Stacey Steinberg (Participant)29 Aug 2022
8 Mar 2022