Noëlle Lenoir is a lawyer, former judge and politician, with expertise in ethics, professional conduct and European affairs.
Noëlle Lenoir is a lawyer, former judge and politician, with expertise in ethics, professional conduct and European affairs. A graduate of the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, she earned her law degree from the Université de Paris and began her career at the French Senate in 1972, then joined the CNIL in 1982, the French Data Protection Authority.
As the CNIL’s Chief Legal Officer, she supervised the implementation of the French data protection and freedom of information act (“Loi informatique et libertés”.Noëlle Lenoir joined the Conseil d’État (France’s highest administrative court) in 1984 as a maître de requêtes (master of petitions) where she carried out the roles of Government Commissioner (now known as Public Rapporteur). She then became head of the French Minister of Justice’s office, before being appointed by the Prime Minister to carry out an investigation into bioethics law. Her report was used as the basis for drawing up the first law on bioethics in France.
The first woman named to France’s Constitutional Council (1992 to 2001), she also chaired UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee from 1992 to 1999 and was Chairman of the European Bioethics Group on science and new technology at the European Commission (1994 to 2001).
She later joined the faculty of Columbia Law School in New York and University College London, before returning to France in 2002 when she was named Minister for European Affairs. In this position, she notably took part in negotiations with accession countries in Central and Western Europe to prepare their integration into the European Union.
Subsequently, Noëlle Lenoir practised as a lawyer (specialising in digital and data protection law, internal and international investigation, compliance and anti-corruption, labour, competition and European law) before being appointed the first Chief Ethics Officer of the French National Assembly, where she served from 2012 to 2014, reviewing the statements of interest submitted by members and drafting initial recommendations based on members’ code of conduct.
Since then, she has chaired Ethics Committees at Radio France and the Parcoursup platform, further expanding her expertise relating to social issues.
Noëlle Lenoir has contributed many articles to law journals and is the author of several books and numerous reports. She has hosted programmes and moderated debates notably on BFM Business and France 24, and has been a columnist and contributor to L’Express, La Tribune and France Culture. She has taught at a range of prestigious schools and universities. She is Chairman of the “Cercle des Européens”, a forum for decision-makers to engage in dialogue with European leaders.
Noëlle Lenoir is also currently the Vice-Chairman of ICC France and the Chairman of the legal commission of “Grand Paris/Ile de France”, responsible for formulating proposals on the region’s appeal as a legal centre.