Tyler Giannini

Clinical Professor of Law

Co-Director, International Human Rights Clinic

Biography

Tyler Giannini is a Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program and its International Human Rights Clinic. Giannini’s work focuses on Alien Tort Statute (ATS) litigation, business and human rights, human rights and the environment as well as communities and human rights. He has extensive experience with Myanmar and South Africa and a strong interest in social entrepreneurship and clinical pedagogy in the human rights context.

Prior to joining Harvard Law School, he was a founder and director of EarthRights International, an organization at the forefront of efforts to link human rights and environmental protection. After receiving an Echoing Green fellowship to start EarthRights in 1995, Giannini spent a decade in Thailand with the organization conducting fact-finding investigations and groundbreaking corporate accountability litigation.

He served as co-counsel in the landmark Doe v. Unocal case, a precedent-setting corporate ATS suit about the Yadana gas pipeline in Myanmar, which successfully settled in 2005. He is currently co-counsel in In re South African Apartheid Litigation, a major ATS case that seeks to hold multinationals liable for their support of human rights violations committed by the apartheid state. He is also co-counsel in Mamani v. Sánchez de Lozada, which brings claims against the former Bolivian president and defense minister related to a 2003 civilian massacre. Giannini has authored numerous amicus curiae briefs including to the United States Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Samantar v. Yousuf, and Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman.

He has written about and advocated on many issues, including international crimes; harmful effects of large dams; transitional justice; abuses related to the mining industry; multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs); and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. He has undertaken investigations and advocacy efforts in many countries, including Bolivia, Canada, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, and the United States.

Giannini takes a particular interest in mentoring the next generation of advocates for social justice. He serves as a special advisor for the HLS Public Service Venture Fund. At the International Human Rights Clinic, he helped incubate a new business and human rights non-profit, the Institute for Multi-Stakeholder Integrity.

A recipient of a Harvard President’s Innovation Fund for Faculty Grant for his clinical work on Burma, Giannini also concentrates attention on clinical pedagogy in the human rights context. He is currently working on an exchange with practitioners and academics in South Africa.

Giannini holds graduate degrees in law and foreign policy from the University of Virginia where he was a member of the law review. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and speaks Thai.

Areas of Interest

Tyler Giannini & Bonnie Docherty, Confronting a Rising Tide: A Proposal For A Convention On Climate Change Refugees, 33 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 349 (2009).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Water Law
,
Natural Resources Law
,
Climate Change
,
Disaster Law
,
Human Rights Law
,
Treaties & International Agreements
Type: Article
Tyler Giannini, Katie Redford, Betsy Apple, Jed Greer & Marco Simons, Total Denial Continues: Earth Rights Abuses Along the Yadana and Yetagun Pipelines in Burma (EarthRights Int'l 2nd ed. 2003).
Categories:
Environmental Law
Sub-Categories:
Oil, Gas, & Mineral Law
,
Natural Resources Law
,
Toxic Torts
Type: Other
Jed Greer & Tyler Giannini, Earth Rights: Linking the Quests for Human Rights and Environmental Protection (EarthRights Int'l 1999).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Human Rights Law
Type: Other
Tyler Giannini, Challenges of Climate Change Displacement are Numerous, 17 Insights on L. & Soc’y 13 (2017).
Categories:
Environmental Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Climate Change
,
Human Rights Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Abstract
The article discusses issues related to migration and international human rights such as several challenges associated with climate change displacement, ranging from the scale of the problem to questions of causation and responsibility to the need to produce frameworks that can address issues on acute, immediate impacts, such as hurricanes, and long-term, gradual effects, such as slow-onset desertification. It also discusses refugee protection and humanitarian efforts.
Tyler Giannini & Susan H. Farbstein, Online Kiobel Symposium: The Alien Tort Statute and the Importance of Historical Evidence, SCOTUS Blog (July 17, 2012, 7:14 PM).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Torts
Type: Other
Susan H. Farbstein & Tyler Giannini, Liability for Harms, N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 2012.
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Corporate Law
,
Human Rights Law
,
International Law
Type: News
Tyler Giannini & Susan H. Farbstein, Corporate Accountability in Conflict Zones: How Kiobel Undermines the Nuremberg Legacy and Modern Human Rights, 52 Harv. Int'l L.J. Online 119 (2010).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Corporate Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Article
Prosecuting Apartheid-Era Crimes?: a South African Dialogue on Justice (Tyler Giannini, Susan H. Farbstein, Samantha Bent & Miles Jackson eds., 2009).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Criminal Law & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Criminal Prosecution
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
In December 2005, South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) promulgated a controversial policy on the prosecution of apartheid-era crimes, sparking renewed debate about such prosecutions and their role in the transition to democracy since 1994. The book presents a diverse collection of perspectives on prosecutions in South Africa, including a foreword by playwright and actor John Kani. Other reflections from former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) commissioners, survivors of apartheid, civil society members, and government officials outline the serious questions facing South Africa as it deals with prosecutions today. The book traces the history of the prosecutions in South Africa including their relationship to the TRC and a recent legal challenge that asserts the NPA policy is an unconstitutional re-run of the TRC amnesty process. Throughout, the book highlights the important themes related to any post-conflict prosecution scheme including rule-of-law concerns, questions of evenhandedness and moral relativism, competing priorities and resource allocation, the limits of a court-centered approach to justice, and the potential transformative power of prosecutions.
Tyler Giannini, Destructive Engagement: A Decade of Foreign Investment in Burma (EarthRights Int'l 1999).
Categories:
Corporate Law & Securities
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Human Rights Law
Type: Other

Bar Admissions

Education History

Current Courses

Course Catalog View