Janet Lord

Senior Adjunct Professor

Senior Fellow
Harvard Law School Project on Disability



Photo of Janet Lord

A health and international human rights lawyer, Janet E. Lord has been teaching at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law since 2007. She is currently senior research fellow at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and senior legal advisor for rule of law and inclusive development programs at New-Rule LLP. Areas of specialization include human rights law, treaty negotiation and implementation, international disability law and policy, health rights for marginalized populations, inclusive development and human rights education and advocacy.

Professor Lord has worked with a variety of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and donors, including the World Bank Group, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Disability Program, UNAIDS, UNDP, the International Labour Organisation, the United States Agency of International Development, NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, the US National Council on Disability, the European Union, American Institutes for Research, Disabled Peoples’ International, the Center for International Rehabilitation, and the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).

She served as senior partner and director of human rights and inclusive development at BlueLaw International LLP, a veteran-owned international law and development firm. While at BlueLaw, she worked in more than thirty countries, designing, managing, implementing, and evaluating human rights and inclusive development projects.

Prior to joining BlueLaw, Professor Lord served as legal advisor and advocacy director at an international landmine survivor organization, participating in all of the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, serving as legal advisor to several lead governments, expert to the UN and legal advocacy advisor to Disabled Peoples International. She also worked as an attorney at the World Bank Group at the start of her international law career.

She has taught courses in international public law and international human rights and disability law at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), American University’s (AU) School of International Service, AU’s Washington College of Law, and the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is currently on the Disability Discrimination Summer School Faculty at the National University of Ireland (Galway). She served on the board of Amnesty International USA for two terms, holding the positions of Vice Chair and Chair during her final two years of service. She currently serves on the board of the United States International Council on Disabilities.

She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on a variety of international public law, human rights and disability law issues and regularly serves as peer reviewer for the Harvard School of Public Health’s Journal of Human Rights Practice, Health and Human Rights and the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics.

Professor Lord holds an LL.B. and LL.M. in law from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the George Washington University Law School and a B.A. in History from Kenyon College. She is a member of the New York Bar.

Recent and forthcoming publications in the area of health, human rights and disability inclusive development include:

The Right to Inclusive Education in International Human Rights Law (co-edited book volume with Gauthier de Beco and Shivaun Quinlivan) (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Peacebuilding and Reintegrating Combatants with Disabilities, Int’l J. Human Rights (2015) (with Michael Stein).

Law and People with Disabilities, Int’l Ency. Soc. & Beh. Sci. (2d ed., Vol. 13, Oxford: Elsevier, 2015), pp. 497-503 (with Deepti Samant & Peter Blanck).

Democratic Life of the Union: Toward Equal Voting Participation for People with Disabilities, 55 Harv. J. Int’l L. 71 (Winter, 2014) (with Michael A. Stein & Jan Fiala).

Facilitating an Equal Right to Vote for Persons with Disabilities, J. Human Rights Practice (2014) (with Michael A. Stein & Jan Fiala).

Prospects and Practices for CRPD Implementation in Africa, in 1 African Y.B. Disability Rights 2013 (with Michael A. Stein).

Beyond the Orthodoxy of Rule of Law and Justice Sector Reform: A Framework for Legal Empowerment and Innovation through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, World Bank L. Rev. 85 (2012) (with Deepti Samant and Peter Blanck).

Disability, Repressive Regimes, and Health Disparity: Assessing Country Conditions in North Korea, Hague J. of Int’l L. pp. 27-53 (2016) (with Jae-Won Chen, Yosung Song, Michael Stein).

Peacebuilding and Reintegrating Combatants with Disabilities, 19 Int’l J. Human Rights 277 (2015) (with Michael Stein).

Witchcraft and Other Stigmas, Int’l N.Y. Times, July 13, 2014, available at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/opinion/drawing-lines-in-iraq-witchcraft-and-other-stigmas.html?_r=0

Nothing to Celebrate: North Koreans with Disabilities, Foreign Policy in Focus, Dec. 3, 2013, available at: http://fpif.org/nothing-celebrate-north-koreans-disabilities/

Disability and Global Development, Disability & Health J. 132 (2012) (with Joan Durocher and Allison de Franco).

HIV/AIDS, Disability and Discrimination: A Thematic Guide on Inclusive Law, Policy and Programming (commissioned by One Billion Strong, Washington, D.C., 2012) (principal author).

Equal Access to Health Care under the UN Disability Rights Conventionin Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care 245 (Rosamond Rhodes, Ilze Grobbelaar Plessis & Anita Silvers, eds., Oxford University Press, 2d ed., 2012) (with Michael A. Stein & Dorothy Weiss).

Contingent Participation and Coercive Care: Feminist and Communitarian Theories Consider Disability and Legal Capacityin Coercive Care: Law and Policy (Bernadette McSherry & Ian Freckelton eds., 2013) (with Michael A. Stein).

Screened Out of Existence: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Selective Screening Policies, 12 Int’l J. Disability, Comm. & Rehabilitation (2012), http://www.ijdcr.ca/VOL12_02/index.shtml.

Disability Rights, the MDGs and Inclusive Developmentin Millennium Development Goals and Human Rights: Past, Present and Future (Malcolm Langford et al., eds., Cambridge University Press, 2013) (with Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo & Michael A. Stein).

Shared Understanding or Consensus-Masked Disagreement? The Anti-Torture Framework in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 33 LOY. J. INT’L & COMP. L. 27 (2011).

Enabling Refugee and IDP Law and Policy: Implications of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 28 Arizona J. Int’l L. 401 (2011) (with Michael A. Stein).

Shared Understanding or Consensus-Masked Disagreement? The Anti-Torture Framework in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 33 Loy. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 27 (2011).

Lessons from the Experience of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Addressing the Democratic Deficit in Global Health Governance, 38 J. LAW. MEDICINE & ETHICS 564 (2010) (with David Suozzi & Allyn L. Taylor).