Kirsteen Shields




Kirsteen Shields has held the post of Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Dundee since 2010 where she teaches UK Public Law and International Human Rights Law. Prior to joining Dundee Law School, she held the post of Fellow in Human Rights at the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights. She graduated in Law with French from the University of Glasgow and holds a PhD from the University of London, where she undertook research as part of an inter-institutional AHRC (UK Arts and Humanities Research Council) research project. Whilst undertaking her doctoral research she also held a Fellowship at Centre for Comparative Research in Law and Political Economy, at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto. Kirsteen has experience working with intergovernmental and non-governmental bodies, including UNESCO, Liberty human rights organisation and A4ID (Advocates for International Development). In 2011 Kirsteen was awarded the title of Scotland and Northern Ireland Young Thinker of the Year.

In 2014 Kirsteen will be a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.


Public Law I, Public Law III, Constitutional Law, UN Human Rights Law (LLM), Regional Human Rights Law (LLM), Legal Research Skills (LLM).


Kirsteen's research is in the field of public international law and international human rights, particularly relating to the human rights obligations of corporations; global governance of natural resources; and the relationship(s) between international law structures and global inequality.


Shields, K 2017,

'Human Rights in Scotland' vol 17, no. 01, pp. 1-38.

Research output: Contribution To Journal

Lock, T & Shields, K 2016

'Human Rights and Brexit: Position Paper to the Standing Council on Europe' Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe, pp. 1-8.

Research output: Working Paper

Mac Innes, M & Shields, K 2015

'The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill and Human Rights: Key points and recommendations' Social Science Research Network .

Research output: Working Paper

Shields, K 2015,

'Tackling the Misuse of Rights Rhetoric in the Land Debate' Scottish Human Rights Journal, no. 68, pp. 1-4.

Research output: Contribution To Journal

Abboud, W, Churchill, RR, Hartmann, J, Reid, CT & Shields, K

Inquiry into EU reform and the EU referendum: implications for Scotland.

Research output: Other Contribution

Shields, K 2014,

What we talk about when we talk about sovereignty. in Scotland '44: Ideas for a New Nation. Post Collective, Edinburgh., pp. 74-84.

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2014,

'The place of human rights in a future Scotland' Scottish Human Rights Journal, no. 65, 1, pp. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution To Journal

Shields, K 2014,

Ethical trade networks as a catalyst for corporate compliance with human rights. in M Fenwick, S Van Uytsel & S Wrbka (eds), Networked governance, transnational business and the law. Springer , Berlin, pp. 127-142. DOI:

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2013,

Rewriting the centricity of the state in pursuit of global justice. in A Perry-Kessaris (ed.), Socio-legal approaches to international economic law: text, context, subtext. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 235-249.

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2012,

Fairtrade and Labour Standards: why Fairtrade is succeeding where international law has failed. in B Granville & J Dine (eds), The Processes and Practices of Fair Trade: Trust, Ethics and Governance. Routledge, London, pp. 232-245.

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2011,

Labor exploitation: crossing the threshold between acceptable and unacceptable labor conditions. in P Kaufmann, H Kuch, C Neuhauser & E Webster (eds), Humiliation, degradation, dehumanization: human dignity violated. Library of ethics and applied philosophy, no. 24, Springer , Dordrecht, pp. 173-189. DOI:

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2010,

"The fairtrade movement". in A Fagan (ed.), Essex internet encyclopaedia of human rights (EIEHR). Human Rights Centre, University of Essex .

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Shields, K 2010,

"The right to development". in A Fagan (ed.), Essex internet encyclopaedia of human rights (EIEHR). Human Rights Centre, University of Essex .

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology

Dine, J & Shields, K 2008,

'Fair trade and reflexive democracy' European Business Organization Law Review, vol 9, no. 2, pp. 163-186. DOI:

Research output: Contribution To Journal

Dine, J & Shields, K 2008,

Corporate social responsibility: do corporations have a responsibility to trade fairly? Can the fairtrade movement deliver the duty? in N Boeger, R Murray & C Villiers (eds), Perspectives on corporate social responsibility. Corporations, globalisation and the law, Edward Elgar, pp. 144-169.

Research output: Contribution To Book Anthology


'Young thinker' title for law lecturer Kirsteen

  • Published: 17/11/2011
  • Press clipping: Research

A Lecturer in Law at the University of Dundee has been named Scotland and Northern Ireland Young Thinker of the Year for 2011 for her ideas on how to 'rethink the recession'. Kirsteen Shields (28), originally from Glasgow, was awarded the title by the Young Scotland and Northern Ireland Programme, the organisation founded by the journalist Kenneth Roy. Kirsteen's pre…

Young Scientist Award for Dundee medical student

  • Published: 19/09/2013
  • Press clipping: Research

A final year medical student from the University of Dundee has received a Young Scientist Award at a prestigious medical conference in recognition of her outstanding work on the impact of antibiotic resistance worldwide and its implications for pneumonia patients. The European Respiratory Society made the award to Catriona Rother (24), originally from Edinburgh, at t…

Yes and No voters more alike than they might think, claims study

  • Published: 25/03/2015
  • Press clipping: Research

Will the oil price continue to fall?

  • Published: 10/01/2016
  • Press clipping: Other

Live interview on RT-TV Current News Today (Russian Television) "Will the oil price continue to fall?"

Will 2013 be seen as the international Year of Water law Cooperation?

  • Published: 02/07/2013
  • Press clipping: Research

2013 – the UN Year of Water Cooperation – is a big year for international water law. The UN Watercourses Convention, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997, may well enter into force before 2014 – only five additional ratifications are required. In addition, the amendment to the UNECE Helsinki Convention, which would allow non-UNECE States to join, is likely to b…

Why you should make plans for digital death

  • Published: 13/02/2011
  • Press clipping: Research

The Sunday Post. Quotes from me appar in the 2/3 page article.

Why has oil gone under $50 per barrel?

  • Published: 21/08/2015
  • Press clipping: Other

Live interview on RT-TV Current News Today (Russian Television) "Why has oil gone under $50 per barrel?"  

Why crowds are good for you

  • Published: 18/10/2012
  • Press clipping: Research

Participation is important for well-being, according to scientists Being stuck in a crowd of a million people doesn’t sound like much fun, but according to the latest research, being with others - even during difficult conditions - can actually be good for well-being. The study, into the biggest religious festival on earth, the Magh Mela, suggests that participation …

WHO status for dental school unit

  • Published: 01/11/2004
  • Press clipping: Research

The Unit of Dental and Oral Health and Health Psychology at the Dental School has been designated a World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Public Health Issues on Congenital Anomalies and Technology Transfer. Professor Peter Mossey, has been appointed Head of the Centre. Since his arrival at the University in 1994, Peter has established a track reco…

What happens to a couple's digital life after break up?

  • Published: 24/02/2016
  • Press clipping: Research

During a romantic relationship, a couple is likely to create, accumulate and share many digital possessions such as videos, photos, chat histories, and shared accounts like Netflix. These digital possessions can cue precious memories, but if the relationship ends these possessions don't just disappear, they need to be dealt with in some way.  

WATCH: Stephen Fry congratulates Dundee academics for awards victories

  • Published: 13/01/2017
  • Press clipping: Research by Ciaran Sneddon January 13 2017, 3.25pm Updated: January 13 2017, 12.15pm Stephen Fry said he hopes to visit Dundee this year as he praised university academics for helping transform lives in Scotland and across the world. The writer and broad…

Vitamin D shown not to lower blood pressure in older adults with high blood pressure

  • Published: 12/08/2013
  • Press clipping: Research

Treatment with Vitamin D does not help reduce high blood pressure in older people, a new study from the University of Dundee has shown. Researchers in the School of Medicine examined the effects of Vitamin D supplements provided to patients aged 70 and over who had isolated systolic hypertension - the most common type of high blood pressure among older people. Previo…

Visitors to the Botanic Gardens can also now enjoy a science lesson, thanks to a new genetics garden.

  • Published: 29/10/2013
  • Press clipping: Other

Article and photo in The Courier

Viewpoint: A Macroscopic Tractor Beam with Acoustic Waves

  • Published: 30/04/2014
  • Press clipping: Research

Among the many examples of how science fiction and fantasy have inspired real science, an interesting one is the “tractor beam,” first conceived by the chemical engineer and writer Edward E. Smith in the 1930s in his novel Spacehounds of IPC. Smith’s hypothetical device was a beam capable of pulling any macroscopic object from a distance. In the case of a light beam,…

UUJ thank Professor

  • Published: 01/09/2014
  • Press clipping: Other

RTPI Northern Ireland PlaNIt

Utilización de floúr y decir adiós a los azúcares es el camino contra las caries (Using Fluoride and saying goodbye to sugar to protect against cavities)

  • Published: 09/04/2014
  • Press clipping: Other

La odontopediatra y especialista en Cariologia del Reino Unido, doctora Nicola Innes, fue invitada por la Facultad de Odontologia de la Ufro para dictar dos conferencias. (The pediatric dentist and specialist in the UK, Dr Nicola Innes, was invited by the Faculty of Dentistry of UFRO to deliver two lectures.)

Uptake of Smoking During Transition to Adulthood

  • Published: 21/04/2008
  • Press clipping: Research

Resaearch to explore the reasons why young people start smoking

Unnecessary ward moves - bad for patients, bad for healthcare systems

  • Published: 29/07/2013
  • Press clipping: Research

Unnecessary ward moves are becoming increasingly common and have adverse consequences both for patients and for hospitals, according to researchers from the University of Dundee. Professor Marion McMurdo and Dr Miles Witham have drawn attention to the practice of 'boarding' patients - moving individuals from their own base specialty ward to other wards to accommodate…

University of Dundee researcher awarded £1.9M to combat Parkinson's disease

  • Published: 16/07/2013
  • Press clipping: Research

A scientist at the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) at the University of Dundee has been awarded almost £1.9M from the Wellcome Trust to investigate the causes of Parkinson's disease. Dr Miratul Muqit has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science to undertake research over the next 5…


SOAS Food Forum: Risks of and Resistance to Extraterritorial Dimensions of the Right to Food

Role: Invited speaker
Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

6 2 2015

Rethinking the Recession

Role: Speaker
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

13 4 2013

London Roundtable on Transnational Private Law Theory

Role: Invited speaker
Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

14 11 2014

EUI Working Group on Human Rights

Role: Organiser
Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

25 6 2014

Ethics Forum: Fairtrade and Food Security

Role: Invited speaker
Activity: Participation in conference

7 3 2014

Consultation on the Right to Food

Role: Contributor
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Work on advisory panels for social community and cultural engagement

6 6 2014

Association of Human Rights Institutions Annual Conference

Role: Speaker
Activity: Participation in conference

29 9 2014