Draft:Lisa Davis (law professor)

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Lisa Davis is a professor of law and co-director of the International Human Rights and Gender Justice (HRGJ) Clinic (formerly the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic) at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.[1]

Education and Academic Career[edit]

Davis holds a Master of the Arts (MA) in International Affairs from American University.[1]  She attended CUNY Law School to study under Rhonda Copelon, founder and co-director of the International Women’s Human Rights (IWHR) Clinic (now called the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic). While in law school, Davis served as editor-in-chief of CUNY Law Review.[1]

Davis joined the CUNY Law faculty in 2010 and serves as a faculty advisor to the CUNY Law Review.[1]

In spring of 2022, Prof. Davis was selected as a Fulbright Scholar at Leiden University School of Law in the Hague, the Netherlands.[2]

In 2016 and 2017, Davis taught as a visiting professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.[3]

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Advocacy[edit]

In 2010, Davis served as lead counsel for the petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of displaced Haitian women and girls, which resulted in the Commission’s first-ever precautionary measures decision recognizing state responsibility to prevent third-party gender-based violence.[4] In the case Atala Riffo and Daughters v. Chile, Davis co-authored the amicus curiae brief arguing, among other things, that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under international law.[5] In 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a groundbreaking decision in the case, providing for an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.[6]

International Criminal Court Advocacy[edit]

In 2014, Davis began documenting gender persecution in conflict against women, girls, men, boys, and LGBTQI+ people.[7]

In 2017, Davis led a coalition that filed the first known petition to the International Criminal Court Prosecutor on gender persecution crimes committed against women, men, and LGBTQI+ people in Iraq.[8]

In December 2017, when hearing that the new crimes against humanity treaty being drafted by the International Law Commission adopted the definition of gender from the Rome Statute, Davis pulled together a coalition of organizations and universities.[9] The coalition sought to ensure that the draft treaty reflected the progress made since the Rome Conference and not adopt the outdated definition of gender. The coalition included more than 500 civil society members representing more than 100 countries, states, and UN experts.[10] In its last and final report on the draft treaty to the UN General Assembly in September 2019, the Commission removed the opaque definition of gender adopted from the Rome Statute.[11] Shortly after, the coalition worked to remove the same outdated definition of gender adopted in the Mutual Legal Assistance treaty.[9]

Work in the International Criminal Court[edit]

In 2021, Davis was appointed the first Special Adviser on Gender Persecution to the International Criminal Court.[12] In 2022, at the request of the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, Professor Davis drafted the first policy on the crime of gender persecution for the Office of the Prosecutor, ensuring the legal understanding of the term gender as codified under international law.[13]

Other International Human Rights Work[edit]

In 2023, Davis co-founded the Institute on Gender, Law and Transformative Peace at CUNY Law School with Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee.[14]

Davis is a member of the JRR-UN Women, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Justice Experts Roster.[15]

Davis also served on the Accountability Working Group for the W7 (Women 7) Group, the official engagement group on women and LGBTQI+ issues for the G7 (Group of Seven) government discussion forum.[16]

External Links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Lisa Davis – CUNY School of Law". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  2. ^ "Professors Davis '08 and Hernandez '12 Make CUNY Law the Top Fulbright-Producing Law School – CUNY School of Law". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  3. ^ "Peqod :: Lisa Davis - Columbia University Catalog of Classes". peqod.com. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  4. ^ "Human Rights Groups File Legal Petition on Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Camps for Displaced in Haiti". Center for Constitutional Rights. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  5. ^ "Inter-American Court of Human Rights Amici Curiae Brief in the case of Karen Atala and daughters (Case 12.502) against the State of Chile" (PDF). Arc International. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  6. ^ "Inter-American Court of Human Rights Case of Atala Riffo and Daughters v. Chile Judgment of February 24, 2012" (PDF). Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. February 24, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  7. ^ Feder, J. Lester (2017-11-08). "These Lawyers Have A Case For Charging ISIS With Killing LGBT People". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  8. ^ Davis, Lisa (2018-01-25). "Activists launch case for prosecution of ISIS crimes against women and LGBTIQ persons". IntLawGrrls. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  9. ^ a b "A New Treaty on Crimes Against Humanity – CUNY School of Law". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  10. ^ "Re: "Gender" in the Draft Crimes Against Humanity Convention" (PDF). CUNY School of Law. December 3, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  11. ^ "Report of the International Law Commission on the Work of the Seventy-first Session - Advance Unofficial Version" (PDF). United Nations. August 20, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  12. ^ "Professor Lisa Davis appointed Special Adviser on Gender Persecution by Prosecutor of ICC – CUNY School of Law". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  13. ^ "Policy on the Crime of Gender Prosecution" (PDF). International Criminal Court. November 2022. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  14. ^ "Who We Are – CUNY School of Law". Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  15. ^ "Sexual & Gender-based Violence". www.justicerapidresponse.org. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  16. ^ "W7 Project Handbook - 2022" (PDF). Der Deutsche Frauenrat. February 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2024.