Human Rights Expert Returns to Campus as Visiting Professor
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New York, January 20, 2016—Amal Clooney, a London-based barrister specializing in international law and human rights, returns to Morningside Heights this spring to lecture on international human rights law at Columbia Law School. Clooney will lecture in Professor Sarah H. Cleveland’s Human Rights course and speak about human rights litigation strategies to students in the Human Rights Clinic, directed by Professor Sarah Knuckey.
Clooney, who served as a senior adviser to Kofi Annan when he was the U.N.’s envoy on Syria, and represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings, most recently secured the temporary release of Mohamed Nasheed, a political prisoner and the former president of the Maldives, so that he could be flown to the United Kingdom for back surgery. Nasheed has been charged with terrorism and is currently serving 13 years in prison.
“We are privileged to have an international human rights practitioner of Amal Clooney’s stature join us again at Columbia,” said Cleveland, the Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty co-director of the Law School’s Human Rights Institute; she also serves as the U.S. independent expert on both the U.N. Human Rights Committee and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. “Professor Clooney’s deep experience advocating before U.N. and regional human rights mechanisms complements our existing offerings and enriches the experience of our students,” Cleveland observed. “She brings invaluable insights to the classroom regarding subjects from international criminal law to free expression, as well as practical challenges in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Clooney is an expert who has argued before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as in domestic courts in the U.S. and the U.K.
In addition to advising governments on international law, Clooney previously served as counsel to the U.N. inquiry into the use of armed drones led by Ben Emmerson, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights. She is a member of the U.K.’s team of experts focused on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones and was recently appointed to the U.K. attorney general’s expert panel set up to advise and represent the government in cases involving public international law.
“Amal Clooney brings her international litigation experience into the classroom, teaching and inspiring students to use the law to advance social justice,” said Knuckey, the Lieff Cabraser Associate Clinical Professor of Law and faculty co-director, with Cleveland, of the Human Rights Institute.
Clooney is co-author of the forthcoming book, The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law (Oxford University Press: 2016).
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Founded in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Henkin, the Human Rights Institute serves as the focal point of international human rights education, scholarship practice at Columbia Law School and draws on the Law School’s deep human rights tradition to support and influence human rights practice in the United States and throughout the world.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School combines traditional strengths in corporate law and financial regulation, international and comparative law, property, contracts, constitutional law, and administrative law with pioneering work in intellectual property, digital technology, tax law and policy, national security, human rights, sexuality and gender, and environmental law.