Petra is a Professor at the Victoria University of Wellington School of Law and Director of the Institute of Small and Micro States. She is a graduate of the University of Göttingen and Victoria University of Wellington. She was a clerk at the South African Constitutional Court.
Petra specialises in public and private comparative law, private international law with an emphasis on international commercial contracts, domestic and international human rights, and business and human rights. She has published extensively in those areas. Petra advises public and private clients in her areas of expertise and has been involved in some of New Zealand's recent high-profile cases. She is a member of a number of advisory boards of human rights NGOs and has been awarded a number of fellowships.
Petra is New Zealand’s CLOUT correspondent for the CISG and the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts. She has held visiting appointments inter alia at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law (Beijing), the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide, Bucerius Law School (Hamburg), Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona), University of Montevideo, and Northwestern University Law School (Chicago).