Amal Clooney was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding contribution to human rights and law.
British-Lebanese barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. Amal is ranked in the legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading barrister in international human rights law, public international law, and international criminal law. She is described as ‘a brilliant legal mind’ who ‘handles cases of real international importance’ and ‘knows her brief inside out’. She is said to be a ‘natural lead advocate’ who is ‘tactically first class’ and ‘a rare combination of intellectual depth and pragmatism’. The directories also spotlight her ‘superb advocacy’ and ‘commanding presence before courts’ and describe her as ‘a dream performer before international tribunals’. They also emphasize that she is ‘fantastically innovative’ with an ability to galvanize ‘heads of state, foreign ministers and business … in a way that is very effective’ for victims of human rights abuses. She is described as ‘unafraid to raise novel points of law’, ‘very sophisticated in pushing the boundaries’ and having a ‘passionate commitment to the law and compassion for the people it serves’.
Amal Clooney read Law at St Hugh’s in 1996 where she received an exhibition scholarship and the prestigious Shrigley Award given for excellence in law studies. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Jurisprudence in 2000. The following year she entered New York University School of Law to study for the Master of Laws (LL.M) degree.
Amal was admitted to the bar in New York in 2002 and called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2010. Amal 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.
Amal frequently represents victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence. She has acted in many landmark human rights cases in recent years including the world’s first trial in which an ISIS member was convicted of committing genocide against Yazidis. Amal also represents Yazidi victims in the first case alleging complicity in crimes against humanity by a company that funded the terror group. She has been appointed the Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Darfur.
She also represents political prisoners around the world and has helped to secure the freedom of many journalists arbitrarily detained for their work across the globe. In 2020 Amal was the recipient of the Gwen Ifill Award for ‘extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom’ from the Committee to Protect Journalists, and she has won a number of other awards in recognition of this work.
Amal 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. From 2019 to 2021 she served as deputy chair of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom chaired by former UK Supreme Court President Lord Neuberger.
Since 2015, Amal has been a visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she co-teaches the Human Rights Course. She is also the co-author, with Professor Philippa Webb, of the award-winning textbook ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law’.
Amal is the co-founder, with her husband George, of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which aims to advance justice through accountability for human rights abuses around the world.