Ioanna Tourkochoriti is a legal scholar working in the field of human rights, comparative law, constitutional law, philosophy of law, political and moral philosophy. She is currently working on a project on the concept of human dignity and on comparing U.S. and E.U. Employment Discrimination Law. For eight years she held various research and faculty appointments at Harvard University. She was a Wertheim Fellow with the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and a Lecturer on Law and Social Studies at the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University.
She received her PhD (in Law) from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Paris, France. Her dissertation (743p.) was awarded the Highest Academic Distinction (unanimously, French/English defense). In order to finish writing it she spent two years as a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School. She received a Masters in Political Philosophy from EHESS - Paris, and an L.L.M. in Public Law from Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II, France. She holds an L.L.B. in Law (4 year law degree) from Athens Law School, Greece. She has received a number of Fellowships and honors from the Greek State and the European Union.
She is the author of the book “Speech Hard Cases: the Philosophical Foundations of the Transatlantic Divide since the American and the French Revolutions” (under review), where she argues that the difference in the balancing of the two rights reflects a difference in the understanding of the role of the state concerning the definition of the content and the limits of liberty. She is also the author of numerous scholarly publications on freedom of expression, harm to self, human dignity, postmodernism and the law, as well as on issues of discrimination on the grounds of religion and disability. Her paper on the Burka Ban comparing freedom of religion in France and the USA has been downloaded more than 7,300 times: http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmborj/vol20/iss3/4/
Apart from being a legal theorist she has also practical experience as a lawyer. She has handled human rights cases at the European Court of Human Rights. She has also served as an Investigator with the Greek Ombudsman (Human Rights Division). In this position she mediated in cases of complaints of the citizens against the government for violations of their rights and authored numerous reports proposing solutions to the Greek Government towards a more efficient public administration respectful of citizens' rights.
She has lectured at numerous Universities all around the world. At Harvard University she taught courses on human rights and constitutional liberties from a comparative and international perspective, as well as philosophy of law, social and political theory. She received Teaching Excellence awards almost every semester she taught at Harvard by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning and the Dean of Harvard College. She has also advised a number of senior thesis and served as a member of the Board of Advisors for Social Studies. She has also taught at the University of South Carolina (Comparative Law) and at the Law Department of Carleton University, Canada (Equality-Discrimination). She currently teaches at the School of Law of the National University of Ireland Galway.