Ralph G. Steinhardt specializes in international law, human rights, conflicts of laws, international civil litigation, and international business transactions. He is co-director of the Oxford-GW Program in International Human Rights Law at New College, Oxford. His current research and advocacy concern the human rights obligations of multi-national corporations. He now serves as the only U.S. citizen on the Expert Legal Panel on that subject under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists and has served as an expert witness in several federal cases testing the liability of corporations for aiding and abetting human rights violations by governments.
Professor Steinhardt also serves on the Board of Editors of the Oxford University press project on international law in domestic courts. He has written books and articles on the application of international law in U.S. courts, statutory construction, international trade law, jurisprudence, and human rights. Having served on the Harvard International Law Journal and won the Jessup Moot Court Competition at Harvard Law School, Professor Steinhardt practiced law for five years in Washington, D.C., specializing in federal litigation, administrative law, and trade. He has served as legal counsel to several foreign governments in both commercial and intergovernmental matters, including border disputes and economic relations, and pioneered the application of international human rights law in U.S. courts. He served as counsel to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Human Rights Law Group, as well as to individuals alleging violations of international human rights law. He also has served as chairman of the board of the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco, an anti-impunity organization established by Amnesty International in 1998.