Claire-Michelle researches mainly in the area of human rights law and has a specific focus on social and economic rights. Since finishing her PhD she has published ‘Social and Economic Rights in Ireland’ with Clarus Press and has also contributed two book chapters on the topic: ‘Social and Economic Rights in International Law: The Struggle for Equivalent Protection’ in Jean Quatet and Lora Windenthal (eds) Routledge History of Human Rights and ‘Social and Economic Rights in a post neoliberal society’ in Claire-Michelle Smyth and Richard Lang (eds) The Future of Human Rights in the UK. She has also published European Employment Law: A Brief Guide to the Essential Elements and Comparative Contract Law (with Marcus Gatto).
In addition, she has presented her research at national and international conferences. In 2016, with Professor Marie Benedicte Dembour, Claire-Michelle organised the university’s first one day law conference which was attended by academics and practitioners from Ireland and the UK. Following on from the success of this conference she is currently organising its successor which will take place in December entitled ‘Contemporary issues in Human Rights Law and Practice’.
While in Dublin, Claire-Michelle was a director of the Irish Innocence Project and she still maintains close links with this institution. She is a strong advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and works with institutions such as the Sunny Centre to assist those who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. In November 2015, Claire-Michelle brought two exonerees, Peter Pringle and Sunny Jacobs to speak at the University of Brighton and in November 2017, Paddy Hill from the Birmingham six and Robert Brown came to share their stories of wrongful conviction. Currently, she is involved as a researcher and assistant in the case of Pringle v Ireland.
Further, Claire-Michelle has joined with Just Fair UK to host a yearly event in Brighton promoting social and economic rights and she is a member of ESRANI UK. She has previously advised government members and been involved in drafting policy papers. She also volunteers at a homeless shelter where she assists residents in applications, appeals and court proceedings in areas of employment law, housing and social welfare and family law matters.