Professor Bennoune graduated from a joint program in law and Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Michigan, earning a J.D. cum laude from the law school and an M.A. from the Rackham Graduate School, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies. In 1995 she served as a Center for Women's Global Leadership delegate to the NGO Forum at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. From 1995 until 1999, she was based in London as a legal adviser at Amnesty International. Currently, she is Professor of Law and Arthur L. Dickson Scholar at the Rutgers School of Law – Newark and Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.
Her publications have appeared in many academic journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, the European Journal of International Law, and the Michigan Journal of International Law, and have been widely cited, including by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women. In June, Prof. Bennoune participated in the first ever online symposium sponsored by the Yale Journal of International Law. Her most recent article, “Terror/Torture,” appeared as the lead article in the Berkeley Journal of International Law in spring 2008. It was recently named one of the Top Ten Global Security Law Review Articles of 2008 by Oxford University Press. An early draft of the paper was used by Amnesty International-USA in 2007 as the basis for the first international meeting of human rights organizations to discuss terrorism as a human rights violation, held at NYU Law School.
Prof. Bennoune is the first Arab-American to win the Derrick Bell Award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Minority Groups. From 2003-2006, she was a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. She also served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA from 2005-2008, and she continues to sit on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Constitutional Rights. In addition, Professor Bennoune has been a consultant on human rights issues for the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, the International Council on Human Rights Policy, the Soros Foundation and for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and a trainer for the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. Her human rights field missions have included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Korea, Southern Thailand, and Tunisia.
In March 2009, she will take part in an expert consultation in support of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism at the New York University School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.