Tyler Giannini is Co-Director of the Human Rights Program, Co-Director of its International Human Rights Clinic, and a Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (HLS). 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 HLS, 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 Shell 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.