Amal Clooney Joins Columbia Law School as Visiting Faculty

International Lawyer and Human Rights Expert Served as a Senior Adviser to the U.N. Envoy on Syria and Represented WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

New York, March 6, 2015—Amal Clooney, a London-based barrister specializing in international law and human rights, will lecture on human rights law at Columbia Law School this spring as a visitor to the faculty and as a senior fellow with the Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
“It is an honor to be invited as a visiting professor at Columbia Law School alongside such a distinguished faculty and talented student pool,” said Clooney. “I look forward to getting to know the next generation of human rights advocates studying here.”

Amal Clooney joins the Law School as a visitor to the faculty and as a senior fellow with the Human Rights Institute. 

Clooney served as a senior adviser to Kofi Annan when he was the U.N.’s envoy on Syria, and she represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in extradition proceedings. Clooney has also handled cases 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. Recently, Clooney helped win release of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a case challenging her detention on allegations of abuse of power. The European Union considered Tymoshenko to be a political prisoner.
“We are privileged to have an international human rights practitioner of Amal Clooney’s stature join our faculty,” said Professor Sarah H. Cleveland, the Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute. “Her extensive experience advocating before U.N. and regional human rights mechanisms complements our existing offerings and will enrich the experience of our students.”
At Columbia Law School, Clooney will lecture in Cleveland’s Human Rights course and speak about human rights litigation strategies to students in the Human Rights Clinic, directed by Professor Sarah Knuckey.
“Amal Clooney’s dedication to public service and her diverse human rights litigation experience will inspire and guide our students as they learn how 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. “We are thrilled to welcome her to Columbia Law School’s community of international law scholars, practitioners, and students.”
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.
Clooney also writes on human rights and international law issues and is co-author of the forthcoming book, The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law (Oxford University Press: 2016). She is co-editor of The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press: 2014).
Clooney received her LL.B. from St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law. While earning her LL.M., she worked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Clooney also practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for several years.
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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.



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