Dr. Teng Biao is an academic lawyer and human rights activist. He was formerly a lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law and has been a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, New York University, Hunter College, and Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights. His research focuses on constitutionalism, legal theory, democratic theory, criminal justice, human rights, social movements, and transitional justice in China.
Teng has defended cases involving freedom of expression, religious freedom, the death penalty, Tibetans, and Uyghurs. He has also provided counsel in numerous other human rights cases, including those of rural rights advocate Chen Guangcheng, rights defender Hu Jia, and the religious freedom case of Falungong. He co-founded two human rights NGOs while in Beijing: the Open Constitution Initiative and China Against the Death Penalty, in 2003 and 2010, respectively. He is one of the earliest promoters of the Rights Defense Movement in China and the manifesto Charter 08, for which Dr. Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Teng has received various international human rights awards including the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2007) and NED’s Democracy Award (2008). He is completing a book on the human rights movement and political transition in China.