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Doughty Street Chambers

Amal Clooney

London, UK UK Bar Guide 2022 Ranked in 4 departments
Ranked in : Civil Liberties & Human RightsPublic International LawCrime: International Criminal LawInternational Human Rights Law
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UK Bar
Civil Liberties & Human Rights - London (Bar)

Band 4

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney is a key operator in the field of international human rights; she acts before the ECtHR and UN human rights bodies, as well as the UK courts. She has specialist expertise in matters related to the use of drones, and advises governments on human rights and constitutional reform. She has a successful track record of representing political prisoners.
Strengths: "Amal is really the most thoughtful, generous and highly knowledgeable expert in her area." "She has the full package. She is fully committed to each case, which is fantastic for clients and solicitors."
Recent work: Acted for the Government of Maldives to intervene in The Gambia v Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, addressingMyanmar’s alleged responsibility for genocide against the Rohingya and seeking remedies for the victims.
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Public International Law - London (Bar)

Band 2

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney handles an impressive portfolio of cases invoking elements of PIL, with a strong profile in government advisory and ambassadorial work, frequently addressing issues of state immunity. She is recognised for the strong human rights aspect of her practice, and has additional capabilities in investor-state disputes.
Strengths: "I am always impressed with her preparation, analysis and insight. She is a collegial, zealous and passionate advocate for her clients. She also recognises that her public persona is a unique method to raise issues and she does it in a strategic manner." "She is experienced in gender-based violence and adds real depth and weight to negotiations and discussions." "A compelling advocate and strategic thinker who really knows her cases in detail."
Recent work: Instructed by the Government of the Maldives to intervene in The Gambia v Myanmar. The ICJ case concerned Myanmar's alleged responsibility of the Rohingya genocide.
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Crime: International Criminal Law - London (Bar)

Spotlight Table

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney is a renowned junior who attracts plaudits for her ability to handle complex proceedings in difficult cases. A human rights expert, she regularly advises and represents individuals and governments who are facing charges of crimes against humanity. Clooney is well known for her involvement in the prosecution of members of ISIS for crimes against the Yazidis.
Strengths: "She shows incredible dedication to the victims' communities she works alongside and represents."
Recent work: Instructed by the government of the Maldives to intervene in the ongoing case between The Gambia and Myanmar before the International Court of Justice. The case addressed Myanmar’s alleged responsibility for genocide against the Rohingya and sought remedies for the victims.
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International Human Rights Law - London (Bar)

Spotlight Table

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney is a key operator in the field of international human rights; she acts before the ECtHR and UN human rights bodies, as well as the UK courts. She has specialist expertise in matters related to the use of drones, and advises governments on human rights and constitutional reform. She has a successful track record of representing political prisoners.
Strengths: "Amal is really the most thoughtful, generous and highly knowledgeable expert in her area." "She has the full package. She is fully committed to each case, which is fantastic for clients and solicitors."
Recent work: Acted for the Government of Maldives to intervene in The Gambia v Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, addressingMyanmar’s alleged responsibility for genocide against the Rohingya and seeking remedies for the victims.
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Barrister information

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Career

Amal Clooney is a barrister who specializes in international law and human rights. She represents clients before international courts including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Alongside court work, she provides advice to governments and individuals on legal issues in her areas of expertise.

Ms. Clooney frequently represents victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence, as well as political prisoners in cases involving freedom of expression and fair-trial rights. She has acted in many precedent-setting human rights cases in recent years including the world’s first trial against an ISIS member for genocide and the first case against a company for complicity in crimes against humanity committed by the terror group. Ms. Clooney has represented Armenia in a case involving the Armenian genocide and was recently counsel to 126 victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, at the International Criminal Court. In 2021 she was appointed Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Darfur. She is a member of the UK’s team of experts on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones and the UK Attorney General’s panel of experts on public international law. And she served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN’s Envoy on Syria, as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones and as a rapporteur for the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute on independence of the judiciary.

Ms. Clooney also represents political prisoners around the world and has helped to secure the freedom of journalists arbitrarily detained for their work across the globe, including two Reuters journalists sentenced to 7 years in prison in Myanmar following their reporting on crimes committed against Rohingyas by the Myanmar forces. She also served as deputy chair of the High Level Legal Panel of Experts on Media Freedom established at the request of the UK and Canadian governments and chaired by former UK Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger.

Ms. Clooney previously worked in The Hague with various UN-sponsored justice mechanisms including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. She is admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a litigation attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York.

Ms Clooney is a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she co-teaches the Human Rights course with Professor Sarah Cleveland. She is also the co-founder of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which aims to advance justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world.

Professional Memberships

St. Hugh's College, Oxford University (BA), New York University School of Law (LLM)

Admitted to the Bar in New York (2002), England & Wales (2010)

Visiting Professor, Columbia Law School (since 2015).

Publications

•Free Speech in International Law, co-edited with D. Neuberger (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2022).

•The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law, with P. Webb (Oxford University Press, 2020).

•The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Law and Practice, co-edited with D. Tolbert and N. Jurdi (Oxford University Press, 2014).

•Human Rights, chapter in I. Roberts (ed.), Satow’s Diplomatic Practice (7th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2017) (update for 2022 edition in progress).

Work Highlights

Genocide and Crimes against Humanity

•Yazidi genocide perpetrated by ISIS (legal advice and advocacy before United Nations). Successfully advocated for creation of a UN investigation of ISIS’ crimes in Iraq, now operational pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2379. Clients include Nadia Murad, who was awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, other female survivors of sexual violence, and the charity Yazda, which represents Yazidi survivors worldwide.

•United States v. Nisreen Bahar (aka “Umm Sayyaf”) (US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia). Representing five Yazidi women under the US Crime Victims’ Rights Act in a criminal case involving crimes committed by ‘the ISIS widow’.

•Prosecutor v. LafargeHolcim (French Supreme Court). Representing a group of Yazidi women in landmark criminal proceedings against a company charged with complicity in crimes against humanity for allegedly providing support to ISIS.

•Prosecutor v. Taha A-J (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt). Representing a Yazidi woman in a criminal case against a member of ISIS who enslaved, tortured and killed the client’s five-year old daughter. This is the first case in the world where a member of ISIS faces charges of genocide under universal jurisdiction laws.

Myanmar

•The Gambia v. Myanmar (International Court of Justice). Instructed by a state party to the Genocide Convention to intervene in the ongoing case between The Gambia and Myanmar before the International Court of Justice, addressing Myanmar’s alleged responsibility for genocide against the Rohingya and seeking remedies for the victims.

Darfur

•The Prosecutor v. Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (‘Ali Kushayb’) (International Criminal Court). Represented a group of over 100 Darfuri victims in a criminal case against a commander of the Janjaweed militia in the Darfur region of Sudan charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Armenia

•Perinçek v. Switzerland (European Court of Human Rights). Represented the Republic of Armenia intervening as a third party in a case concerning the denial of the Armenian genocide.

Other Human Rights Cases

•Ireland v. UK (European Court of Human Rights). Represented the ‘hooded men’ in an application by the Republic of Ireland for revision of a 1978 judgment holding that the ‘five techniques’, including hooding, food and drink deprivation and sleep deprivation did not amount to torture.

•Mutua et al. v. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (High Court of England and Wales). Legal advice on international law aspects of claim by 5 members of the Mau Mau Kenyan tribe alleging torture in detention camps during British Colonial rule in Kenya.

•Johnson v. Ghana (African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights). Represented a Ghanaian citizen on death row in a case arguing that the mandatory death penalty imposed for certain crimes amounts to a violation of the defendant’s human rights.

•R (Bancoult) v. FCO (No.2) (UK Supreme Court). Represented Mr. Bancoult in proceedings concerning the removal of Chagossians from the Chagos Islands in 1971 and their right to return (instructed by Clifford Chance).

•Roma Lead Poisoning (United Nations Secretariat). Advised and represented members of the Roma community in claims for compensation against the United Nations arising from their lead poisoning in Kosovo’s IDP camps (instructed by Leigh Day).

•Prosecutor v. Ayyash et al (Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague). Member of the prosecuting team at the first UN-created court dealing with terrorism. The case concerned five persons accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and others in a terrorist attack in Beirut.

•Prosecutor v. Milosevic (UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia). Judicial assistant to Judge Patrick Robinson, Presiding Judge in the first trial of a head of state -- the ex-President of the former Republic of Yugoslavia -- for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

•AAA v. Camellia PLC et al. (High Court of England and Wales). Represented 36 women alleging rape and other gender-based violence on tea estates in Malawi. Secured ground-breaking settlement, including compensation, a Female Leadership Training Programme, and funding of civic education programmes for women in the community.

Political Prisoners

•People of the Philippines v. Maria Ressa and Rappler (Manila Regional Trial Court, Philippines). International counsel for Filipino journalist and Nobel laureate facing over 100 years in prison in Manila based on spurious charges, including ‘cyber-libel’.

•Prosecutor v. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo (Insein District Court, Yangon, Myanmar). Counsel for two Reuters journalists sentenced to 7 years in following their reporting on crimes committed against Rohingyas by the Myanmar forces. The two journalists were released in May 2019.

•Khadija Ismayilova v. Azerbaijan (European Court of Human Rights). Represented award-winning journalist subject to politically-motivated prosecution following her reporting of corruption by the President and his family. The European Court ruled in her favour and she was released in 2016.

•Mohamed Nasheed v. The Maldives (UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and UN Human Rights Committee). Represented the Maldives’ former president who had been subject to an unfair and politically-motivated trial to exclude him from the Presidential elections. Mr. Nasheed was released in 2016.

•Prosecutor v. Mohamed Fahmy (Cairo Court of Appeal and Egypt Supreme Court). Represented journalist from Al Jazeera English television network detained in Egypt following an unfair trial for the crimes of ‘terrorism’ and ‘fake news’. Fahmy was released in 2015.

•Tymoshenko v. Ukraine (European Court of Human Rights). Represented the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in challenging her politically-motivated prosecution and detention in Ukraine. The case was settled with an acknowledgement by Ukraine of the violations raised in the European Court claim and she was released in 2014.

Languages Spoken

French, Arabic (conversational)

Awards

Committee to Protect Journalists Gwen Ifill Award for ‘extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom’

American Society of International Law ‘Champion of the International Rule of Law’ Award

2019

UK Bar

This individual is also ranked in:

Global 2022
Amal Clooney

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