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 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: a Guide for the Legal Profession (Advocates for International Development, 2013) and the article ‘Don’t Overlook Human Rights Risks When Negotiating and Drafting International Commercial Transaction Agreements’, featured as the cover story in the summer 2013 issue of the American Bar Association’s International Law News. Her forthcoming article, on issues that bar associations and legal societies need to address to assist lawyers with incorporation and implementation of human rights in their work, will appear in the Houston Journal of International Law in late 2015.

One of Dr. Lewis’ particular areas of focus is the impact of businesses on the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities. Her publications in this area include: ‘Indigenous peoples and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights’ in Handbook of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights (Routledge, 2015); ’Corporate Responsibility to Respect the Rights of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples’, in the Minority Rights Group International’s 2012 annual report, 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) and the American Bar Association and its Corporate Social Responsibility and International Human Rights Committees.

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