Professor Janet Margaret McLean

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Janet McLean is a Professor of Law at The University of Auckland and Associate Dean (Research). Before returning to Auckland in 2012 she held the Chair in Law and Governance at the University of Dundee. She has held visiting fellowships at Woodrow Wilson School of Politics and International Affairs and the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University (2009), and at The Australian National University (2001) and was the George P. Smith Distinguished Visiting Professor at Indiana University at Bloomington (2003). She has acted as an advisor to the NZ government serving on the Legislation Advisory Committee and on a ministerial inquiry into Human Rights Protection in New Zealand (2000).

Research | Current

Her research interests include the public-private distinction, the nature of the Crown, Bills of Rights, bureaucratic design, public contracting, freedom of information and the nature of unwritten constitutions. With Dame Alison Quentin–Baxter she is working on a Law Foundation funded project about the Queen and Governor-General in Right of New Zealand.

Teaching | Current

LAW 211- Public Law

LAWPUBL 431 – Advanced Public Law

LAWPUBL 438 – European Public Law

LAWPUBL 756 - Crown and State Liability 

Postgraduate supervision

Militant democracy

Standing Issues in the ECJ

The horizontal application of human rights

Attorney-General’s certificates under s7 NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990

EU integration and social welfare

Crown liability for systemic harm


Associate Dean (Research)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Quentin-Baxter, A., & McLean, J. (2017). This realm of New Zealand: The Sovereign, the Governor-General, the Crown. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press.
  • McLean, J. (2016). Convergence in public and private law doctrines – The case of public contracts. New Zealand Law Review, 2016 (1), 5-29.
  • McLean, J. (2016). The unwritten political constitution and its enemies. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 14 (1), 119-136. 10.1093/icon/mow002
  • McLean, J. (2015). Crown, Empire and Redressing the Historical Wrongs of Colonisation in New Zealand. New Zealand Law Review, 2015 (2), 187-212.
  • McLean, J. (2013). Ideologies in Law Time: The Oxford History of the Laws of England. Law and Social Inquiry, 38 (3), 746-764. 10.1111/lsi.12016
  • McLean, J. (2012). Searching for the state in British legal thought: Competing conceptions of the public sphere. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 334.
  • Rishworth, P., & McLean, J. (2010). Human rights obligations in the private sector: reflections on YL v Birmingham City Council and the meaning of public function. Effective judicial review: a cornerstone of good governance (pp. 101-119). Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.
  • McLean, J. (2009). Damages and Human Rights: A Changing Relationship Between Citizen and State?. Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik = Annual Review of Law and Ethics, 17, 289-307.

Contact details

Primary office location

17 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 803
Level 3, Room 319
New Zealand