Stephanie Farrior


Professor Stephanie Farrior is a prominent academic and activist in the field of international human rights. She is former legal director and general counsel of Amnesty International. Based at its International Secretariat in London, she oversaw Amnesty International's legal work during the Pinochet extradition hearings, met with then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on a range of issues, and worked closely with numerous United Nations human rights bodies.

Professor Farrior's scholarly research focuses issues of discrimination based on race, sex, and sexual orientation or gender identity; state responsibility for human rights abuses by non-state actors; the work of international human rights monitoring bodies; and issues at the intersection of human rights and the environment. Her work has been published in Oxford, Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley law journals and has been cited by several U.N. experts in their studies and reports to the United Nations.

Professor Farrior was a Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford, Kellogg College in 2014-2015. She was a Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center, and has taught international law courses at Oxford, George Washington, American, and Pennsylvania State universities. She has served as Chair of the Section on International Law of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), and as Counsellor and member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).

Professor Farrior delivered the Roger S. Aaron Endowed Lecture at Dartmouth College, and the 4th Annual Owen M. Kupferschmid Lecture at Boston College Law School. She has also presented at Chatham House; Harvard, Columbia, New York University, Virginia, Michigan, Cornell and Georgetown law schools; the Institute for Advanced Legal Study at the University of London; Maastricht University, Ryukoku University, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and the Osaka Bar Association.

She has served as a mission delegate on Amnesty missions to India, Malawi, Pakistan, and Yemen and has participated in policy-making conferences on international human rights in Cape Town, Ljubljana, London, Oslo, Paris, and Yokohama. She also works on using international human rights standards in advocacy for racial and economic justice in the United States. She co-founded the Amnesty International Lawyers Network and served on the founding board of directors of the Center for Justice and Accountability, which helps survivors of torture and other severe human rights abuses hold the perpetrators accountable.

Born in Bangkok, Professor Farrior grew up there and in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Washington D.C. She has also lived in Athens, Avignon, and London. She speaks French, Greek, Japanese and some Spanish.


Legal Advocacy

​Expert witness on situation of LGBT people in Burundi, for political asylum hearing held in Dallas, Texas (2015)​.​
U.S. Supreme Court, Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzalez. Participated in writing amicus brief filed by Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), setting out the international legal principles on state responsibility to provide protection from and remedies for domestic violence (2005).​
European Court of Human Rights, Jersild v. Denmark. Authored amicus brief for Human Rights Watch in this ​landmark hate speech/freedom of the press case (1994).
​Bureau of Immigration Appeals, In re Hernandez-Bonilla. Authored amicus brief for Amnesty International-USA in political asylum case of Salvadoran labor rights activi​st (​1988)​.​


International Reporting Procedures, Chapter 10 in Hurst Hannum, ed., GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICE, pp. 189-215 (revised and updated previous edition’s chapter by Coliver & Miller) (4th ed.; Transnational Publishers, 2004).
Hate Propaganda and International Human Rights Law, Chapter 2 in Monroe E. Price and Mark Thompson, eds., FORGING PEACE: INTERVENTION, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE MANAGEMENT OF MEDIA SPACE, pp. 69-103 (Univ. of Edinburgh Press, 2002).
​Using the International Human Rights System to Combat Racial Discrimination: A Handbook. 103 pp. (AI Index: IOR 80/001/2001) (Amnesty International, London, 2001). Translated into French, Spanish and Arabic.
Protection of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Under the UN Treaty Bodies, (co-author with Anne Bayefsky), Chapter 2 in Joan Fitzpatrick, ed., HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION FOR REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS, AND INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS: A GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL MECHANISMS, pp. 23-135 (Transnational Publishers 2001).


Series Editor of five-volume series, Library of Essays in International Human Rights Law (Ashgate Publishing, 2014):
  • Volume I: Development of International Human Rights Law (David Weissbrodt, Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin and Mary Rumsey, eds.)
  • Volume II: Equality and Non-Discrimination Under International Law (Stephanie Farrior, ed.,)
  • Volume III: Challenges to Human Rights Law (Menno Kamminga, ed.)
  • Volume IV: The United Nations System for Protecting Human Rights (Dinah Shelton, ed.)
  • ​ Volume V: Regional Human Rights Systems (Christina Cerna, ed.)


The Rights of Women in International Human Rights Law Textbooks: Segregation, Integration or Omission? 12 COLUMBIA J. OF GENDER AND LAW 587 (2003) (invited symposium paper).​
Protection from Non-State Persecution, in ASYLUM AS A HUMAN RIGHT (European Ass’n of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights—EALDH, Düsseldorf, 2001) (invited symposium paper).​
The Need for Universal Jurisdiction: Challenges and Recommendations, AFRICA LEGAL AID QUARTERLY 10 (April-June 2000) (University of Maastricht symposium presentation)​.​
Human Rights Abuses by Non-State Actors and the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility, 92 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 93RD ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 209 (1998).

US Strategies for Eliminating Sexual Violence against Women, 6 TEXAS JOURNAL OF WOMEN AND THE LAW 273 (1997) (​invited paper; symposium issue)

Landmark Hate Speech Case Decided by European Court of Human Rights, 1995 ACLU INTERNATIONAL CIVIL LIBERTIES REPORT 1


​American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Meeting. International Law and the Response to Jihadist Terrorism in 2015, Panel discussion moderator. Washington DC, April 2015​.​
​Washington University School of Law PUBLIC INTEREST LAW AND POLICY SPEAKER SERIES 2014-2015. International Human Rights Law in Action: Lessons from the Field. St. Louis, April 2015.​​
​Washington University School of Law. “Color” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Two Covenants, at conference on GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON COLORISM. St. Louis, April 2015​.
​University of Valencia. "Environmental Activism and the Rights to Freedom of Expression and Assembly,"​ at conference convened by Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Spain on PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN ADDRESSING NUCLEAR RISK. Valencia, Spain, November 2014​.
American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting. Moderator, International Law-Making and the United Nations. New York, January 2014.​
​University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy, November 2013.​
​Cornell Law School. The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy. Ithaca, March 2013.

​Vermont Law School. From Then to Now: The Early Years in International Advocacy for LGBTI Rights and the Evolution to Today, at conference "Global Activism on LGBTI Issues." South Royalton VT, April 2012

Vermont Law School. International Advocacy for LGBTI Rights: The Early Years, and the Evolution to Today, at conference Global Activism on LGBTI Issues. South Royalton, VT, April 2012 ​

​American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting. Pedagogy for International Law Practice. Washington DC, January 2012.​
​Roger S. Aaron '64 Endowed Lecture, Dartmouth College, Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences. The Role of Law in International Human Rights Advocacy. Hanover NH, November 2011.
American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting. Developments in International Law relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. San Francisco, January 2011.
​Chatham House. Monitoring and Enforcing Human Rights Law, at Transatlantic Dialogues on International Law: Human Rights and International Law, co-sponsored by Chatham House and the Atlantic Council. London, November 2010.
University of Michigan. Accountability Beyond States, at conference Human Rights: From Practice to Policy. Ann Arbor, October 2010.
Institute for International Relations, Panteion University. New Challenges to the International System—An International Law Perspective, at conference "The World and Greece in 2030." Athens, Greece, May 2010.​
Dartmouth College. The US and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Hanover NH, May 2010.
​University of Virginia School of Law. Internationalizing Concerns about Human Rights Abuses in the US: Developments at the UN and the OAS, at conference 50 YEARS AFTER THE SIT-INS: REFLECTING ON THE ROLE OF PROTEST IN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND LAW REFORM. Charlottesville, January 2010.
​Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Accountability for the Torture Memos, at conference AFTER GUANTANAMO: THE WAY FORWARD - FOUR ROUNDTABLES ON RECONCILING NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE RULE OF LAW. Cleveland, September 2009.
​American Society of International Law (ASIL) and New England Law. Challenges to Implementation of the CEDAW at conference on CEDAW AND ITS OPTIONAL PROTOCOL. Boston, March 2009.
​US Department of State. Co-organizer and co-moderator of briefing by members of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) regarding state obligations under the CEDAW Convention for staff from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; the Departments of State, Justice, Education, Defense, and Labor; the EEOC; other agencies. Washington DC (2009).​​
​German Bundestag: Expert witness on "State Responsibility for Human Rights Abuses Committed by Non-State Actors" at hearing held to examine refugee status of women fleeing private violence. Berlin, Germany (1999).​
​Vermont Law School. Women and Genocide: Perpetrators, Victims, Prosecutors and Judges, on panel on "Gender and Genocide" at national conference of International Law Students Association (ILSA), UNDERSTANDING GENOCIDE: PREVENTION, PROSECUTION AND PROGRESS​. South Royalton, VT, October 2008.
Harvard Law School. International Human Rights Law on Economic and Social Rights in US State Court Decisions, at conference on THE UNITED STATES AND HUMAN RIGHTS: BRINGING RIGHTS HOME. Cambridge, MA, March 2008.
Pennsylvania State University. Speaker on panel The Psychology of Torture: Examining the Ethical and Legal Dilemmas. March 2008​.
AALS Workshop on Clinical Legal Education—Challenging Assumptions: Challenging Assumptions through International Human Rights Law. New Orleans, May 2007.
26th Annual Frank Church Symposium on International Affairs, speaker on two panels: The Reality of International Human Rights Law and The Lives and Rights of Women and Children in the Middle East. Idaho State University, March 2007.
New York University School of Law, Experts Meeting on Terrorism as a Human Rights Issue, Lead Speaker on session: Should We Call Terrorism a Human Rights Violation? New York City, February 2007.
​UN Commission on the Status of Women, 50th session: Eliminating Violence against Women: Where Does Due Diligence Fit In? United Nations, New York, March 2006.
​Asia-Pacific NGO Consultation with the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women. Presentation and workshop on The Due Diligence Standard in Holding States Accountable for Violence against Women in the Private Sphere. Bangkok, Thailand, October 2005.
​New York University School of Law symposium: The Economic and Social Rights of Non-Citizens under International Human Rights Law. New York City, March 2005.
NAACP Annual Convention: International Human Rights Law and US Civil Rights. Philadelphia, July 2004.
ACLU and Amnesty International event, HUMAN RIGHTS AFTER SEPTEMBER 11. Human Rights Violations in the Name of the War on Terrorism. Washington DC, September 11, 2003.
​Columbia Law School The Rights of Women in International Human Rights Law Textbooks: Segregation, Integration, or Omission? at conference WHY A FEMINIST LAW JOURNAL? New York City, April 2003.
Pennsylvania State University. The US and Iraq: Humanitarian Intervention, Self-Defense, or Aggression? Carlisle, February 2003.​
​Institute for Advanced Legal Study, University of London. Protecting Against Discrimination, at conference on HUMAN RIGHTS - DYNAMIC DIMENSIONS. London, April 2002.
​Carnegie Council on Ethics and Foreign Affairs and the Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues, symposium on the Death Penalty: International Perspectives on the Death Penalty in the United States. Dickinson College, February 2002.
​Mid-Atlantic People of Color Conference, Georgetown University Law Center. International Law on Racial Discrimination for U.S. Civil Rights Advocates. Washington DC, January 2002.
​Ryukoku University, Kyoto. The International Law on Racial Discrimination and its Application in Japan and the United States. Kyoto, Japan, November 2001.
Fourth Annual Owen M. Kupferschmid Lecture. International Human Rights Mechanisms to Combat Racial Discrimination: An Assessment. Boston College Law School, November 2001.
​United Nations, 2nd Prep. Comm. for the World Conference against Racism: Workshop for NGOs: How to Use UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies to Address Racial Discrimination. Geneva, May 2001.
​Commencement Address, Macalester College, May 2001.​
​European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (EALDH) international conference on ASYLUM AS A HUMAN RIGHT. Protection against Non-State Persecution. Frankfurt am Main, Germany, November 2000.
Maastricht University. Universal Jurisdiction for Crimes against Humanity, at conference on UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION. Maastricht, Netherlands, April 2000.
OSCE Conference on Human Rights. The Obligations of States to Protect Women’s Human Rights. Pristina, Kosovo, December 1999.
​DEMOCRACY NOW (Pacifica Radio) with Amy Goodman: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interviewed on the 50th anniversary of the UDHR, December 10, 1998.
International Law Association (American Branch). Implementing the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. New York City, November 1998.
​Japan Federation of Bar Associations. The Death Penalty in the United States and in International Law, at conference on THE DEATH PENALTY – EAST AND WEST. Tokyo, Japan, July 1998.
​Osaka Bar Association, as part of its "UDHR 50" lecture series. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Death Penalty. Osaka, July 1998.​
​American Society of International Law Annual Meeting. The International Law Commission's Draft Articles on State Responsibility and Their Application to Human Rights Abuses by Non-State Actors. Washington DC, April 1998.
​International Law Association (American Branch) annual conference. Trafficking in Human Beings. New York City, November 1997.
​International Conference on Government Inaction, convened by Amnesty International. State Responsibility for Human Rights Abuses by Non-State Actors in International Law. Berne, Switzerland, October 1997.
American Political Science Association annual meeting. International Law in the Undergraduate Classroom: Back Door, Front Door or Locked Door? Washington, DC, August 1997.
​New York Women's Bar Association International Human Rights Law and Women's Reproductive Freedom, at symposium on THE STATUS OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF WOMEN WORLDWIDE. New York City, March 1997.
​University of Texas School of Law. Using International Human Rights Law to Combat Violence against Women in the United States, at conference on NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Austin, February 1997.
​International Law Association (American Branch) International Law Weekend. Cross-cultural Perspectives on Hate Speech Regulation, on panel on CROSS-CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS. New York City, November 1996.
Harvard University. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, at CONFERENCE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, panel on “HIV/AIDS, Child Health and the Rights of the Child.” Cambridge, MA, October 1996.
Harvard University, CONFERENCE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS, chair of panel on “The Legacy of the Doctors’ Trial at Nuremberg: Health Workers and Human Rights.” Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 1996.​
​Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The International Law on Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. New York, June 1996.​
Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues. The Need for a Permanent International Criminal Court, at symposium on THE LEGACY OF THE NUREMBERG TRIALS, panel on “Contemporary War Crimes Tribunals.” Dickinson College, March 1996.
Dickinson College. Human Rights: Facing New Realities, at Symposium on THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS. Carlisle, February 1995.​
​International Meeting of Amnesty International Lawyers Network. Issues in the International Law on Hate Speech. Boston, August 1993.
International Meeting of Amnesty International Lawyers Network. The International Law on the Death Penalty. Yokohama, September 1991.

Awards & Accomplishments

Awards, Honors or Grants

​Elected a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford, Kellogg College for the 2014-2015 academic year​

Service Work

Rapporteur and author of report for "The Economics of Racism" two-day workshop convened by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Council for Human Rights Policy, Geneva, January 2001. Report served as basis for the subsequent publication by the International Council: RACIAL AND ECONOMIC EXCLUSION: POLICY IMPLICATIONS (2001)​.​
​Drafted legislation for US Congresswoman Pat Schroeder (D-CO), "Provision of Information regarding Female Genital Mutilation," enacted into law as Section 644 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (1996).​
​Memorandum of law: United Nations procedures for an international non-governmental organization to obtain Category II consultative status with ECOSOC (for Equality Now, the international women's rights NGO, 1994).
Memorandum of law: Evaluation of the available international human rights mechanisms to end impunity for the death of M. (a Filipina woman trafficked into Japan) (for Equality Now, 1994).
Over a dozen memoranda of law for Amnesty International (in addition to those written while Legal Director of AI) on a range of issues, including:
  • the prohibited bases of discrimination in international law
  • the international law against impunity
  • the domestic effect of treaty provisions
  • analysis of reservations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
  • US ratification of ICCPR and CERD
  • international law on incitement to racial or religious hatred


Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) Member, Founding Board of Directors (1997-99)​
American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on International Law Chair (2013-2014); Executive Committee (2010-2015)​​

​​Bar Membership District of Columbia​
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Member, Board of Directors, South Central Pennsylvania Chapter (1992-94)
International Law Student Association (ILSA) Member, Board of Directors (2010-2015)​​
​Editorial Board, ELGAR STUDIES IN HUMAN RIGHTS (Edward Elgar Publishing).​
American Society of International Law (ASIL) Counsellor (2012-2015) Executive Council (2007-2010; 2012-2015) Co-Chair, Human Rights Interest Group (2009-2012) Annual Meeting Program Committee (2011-2012) Honors Committee (2007-2008) Corresponding Editor, INTERNATIONAL LEGAL MATERIALS (ILM) (2007-2013)​
Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), Member​