Areas of Expertise
- Civil Rights and Discrimination
- Comparative and Foreign Law
- Constitutional Law
- Family Law
- Fourteenth Amendment
- Gender and the Law
- Human Rights Law
- International Human Rights
- Race and the Law
- Sexuality and the Law
Holning Lau is the Willie P. Mangum Distinguished Professor of Law. He is an internationally recognized expert on international and comparative approaches to equality rights, especially in the contexts of sexuality, gender, and family life. His writing has appeared in a range of forums including leading law reviews, interdisciplinary journals, books, and mass media outlets. At UNC, he teaches International Law of Human Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law, and Family Law. He also teaches at Duke University.
From 2018 to 2019, Lau served as an independent consultant to the International Commission of Jurists and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, supporting their work on sexual orientation and gender identity issues in Myanmar. From 2016 to 2018, he served as Associate Dean for Faculty Development at UNC School of Law. From 2013 to 2015, Lau was president of the ACLU of North Carolina’s Board of Directors. He came to UNC in 2009, after serving as an associate professor at Hofstra University, where he also co-directed Hofstra’s LGBT Rights Fellowship Program. Prior to that, he worked at UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. He has served twice as a visiting fellow at the University of Hong Kong. He has also worked for the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor and the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. Lau received his J.D. from the University of Chicago, where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review and served on the staff of the Chicago Journal of International Law. At the University of Chicago, he was named a Stonewall Scholar for excellence in his work related to LGBT rights and was awarded the Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Paper Prize. He completed his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.
- B.A., University of Pennsylvania
- J.D., University of Chicago
Courts, the Law, and LGBT Rights in Asia, in OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POLITICS (W. Thompson ed., forthcoming 2020).
Gender Recognition as a Human Right, in CAMBRIDGE HANDBOOK OF NEW HUMAN RIGHTS: RECOGNITION, NOVELTY, RHETORIC (A. von Arnauld, K. von der Decken & M. Susi, eds., forthcoming 2020).
In the Media
- The notion of a shared humanity: Holning Lau uses LGBTQ research to shape policy, advocacy and public education (The Well)
- Lau's research cited on a flawed imagination of Asia: The unnatural laws against LGBTQ people (Queer Lapis)
- Lau Op-Ed: Ask Mom? She’s Not the Only Parent (Los Angeles Times)
- Lau Study Cited: Over 50% of Hongkongers Now Support Same-Sex Marriage (EJ Insight)
- Lau Speaks on 'Loving at Fifty' Panel (Virginia Law Weekly)
- Lau Comments on How Traditional Parental Leave Policies Impact Gay Fathers (NewNextNow)