Profile of Corinne Lewis

General background

Dr. Lewis provides legal advice, consultation and training to a range of clients, including law firms, multi-national companies and international and nongovernmental organizations. She brings to her work both a corporate law background, as in-house counsel with a major multi-national company, and nearly two decades of international human rights law experience. She has taught human rights law and public international law courses and has lived and worked in the U.S. and various countries in Asia and Europe. Dr. Lewis has served as an Expert to the Council of Europe in connection with the drafting and presentation of training for lawyers on business and human rights.

Dr. Lewis also writes, speaks, and publishes regularly on business and human rights. She is the author of a range of publications, including the first guide for lawyers: The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: a Guide for the Legal Profession (Advocates for International Development, 2013). In addition to work to develop and promote business and human rights within the legal profession, she has carried out policy and advocacy work on a range of topics, including among others:

  • supply chains;
  • infrastructure projects;
  • social and environmental standards and compliance mechanisms for international financial institutions;
  • benchmarks and reporting mechanisms for businesses; and
  • the draft UN treaty on business and human rights.

One of Dr. Lewis’ particular areas of focus is the impact of businesses on the rights of disadvantaged and marginalized persons. She currently leads a book project for the International Human Rights Committee, of the American Bar Association’s Section on International Law, on protection of groups of persons who require particular attention, including minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants, children, and women, among others. Some of her past publications in this area are: ‘Indigenous peoples and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights’ in Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (Routledge, 2015) and the article ‘Businesses’ Human Rights Responsibilities’ published in the University of Oxford’s Forced Migration Review (Dec. 2012 issue). She is also the author of UNHCR and International Refugee Law: From Treaties to Innovation (Routledge 2012).

She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York (since 1986) and is a member of the Ordre Français des Avocats du Barreau de Bruxelles (Brussels Bar Association – French section. In addition, she is Vice Co-Chair, Policy, of the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section and active in its Business and Human Rights Sub-committee. She is also an Associate Member of the International Human Rights Committee of the Texas Bar Association.

Human Rights Experience

  • Conducting human rights training of government and military officials, NATO peace-keepers, and staff of nongovernmental organizations
  • Drafting reports and documents on various human rights issues
  • Drafting corporate social responsibility reports
  • Providing input and comments, from a business and human rights perspective, on draft UN documents, national legislation and policy documents
  • Conducting human rights training of government officials, lawyers, and staff of nongovernmental organizations
  • Providing advice to governmental officials on the implementation of human rights
  • Conducting discussions with stakeholders on human rights issues
  • Formulating practical solutions to adverse human rights impacts by businesses

Legal Education

Dr. Lewis has: a law degree (JD) from Indiana University; an LLM (with honors) in international law with a human rights focus from Georgetown University; and a PhD in international law from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr. Lewis, now based in Brussels, Belgium, has lived and worked in Japan, Bangladesh, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the US. She is fluent in English and French with notions in Dutch and Japanese.

Corinne Lewis