Amal Clooney is a barrister who specialises in public international law, international criminal 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 and domestic courts in the UK and US. Alongside court work, she provides advice to governments and individuals on legal issues in her areas of expertise.
Amal was ranked in the leading legal directory Chambers and Partners as one of the top lawyers in the UK in the fields of international human rights and international criminal law. According to the rankings, she is a very effective and focused advocate, and somebody who is able to work very effectively with people. She is said to be a human rights expert who is [n]oted by commentators for her intellectual acumen when handling complex international criminal law cases. The directory also highlights that [s]he s very skilled and very thoughtful in the way she approaches a case, and has a great understanding of ICC [International Criminal Court] practices.
Amal served as a senior advisor to Kofi Annan when he was the UN s Envoy on Syria. She also served as Counsel to the UN Inquiry on the use of armed drones led by the Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights. She is a member of the UK s team of experts on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones. And she was recently appointed to the UK Attorney General s expert panel set up to advise and represent the UK government in cases involving public international law.
Prior to joining the London Bar, Mrs Clooney 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 also admitted to the New York Bar and practiced as a litigation attorney at Sullivan Cromwell LLP in New York. She speaks English, French and Arabic.
Amal s case profile includes:
Yazidi genocide perpetrated by ISIS. Representing a group of Iraqi victims, including UN Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, seeking accountability for genocide and other atrocities perpetrated by ISIS against the Yazidi community. Please click here and here for media coverage, and here and here for videos of UN speeches and CNN interview . Tymoshenko v Ukraine.Representing Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, in human rights claim concerning her politically-motivated prosecution and detention in Ukraine (European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg). Watch BBC interview here . Prosecutor v Mohamed Fahmy.Journalist from Al Jazeera English television network detained in Egypt following an unfair trial (Cairo Court of Appeal and Egypt Supreme Court). Please click here for media coverage. Cambodia v Thailand. Representing Cambodia in inter-state territorial claim concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear. (International Court of Justice, The Hague). Please click here for judgment. and media coverage . Prosecutor v Senussi and Gaddafi. Representing Abdallah Al Senussi, former Libyan intelligence chief, arguing that he should be put on trial in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity perpetrated in Libya (International Criminal Court, The Hague). Perincek v Switzerland. Representing the Republic of Armenia intervening as a third party in a case concerning denial of the Armenian genocide (European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg). Please click here for media coverage and video of submissions . Sweden v Assange. Representing Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, in extradition proceedings (City of Westminster Magistrates Court, London). Please click here for media coverage . Georgia v Russia (II). Representing Georgia in an inter-State case against Russia concerning alleged indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against the civilian population in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008 (European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg). Parthenon Marbles. Advising the Greek Government on the return of cultural property the Parthenon Marbles – from the United Kingdom to Greece. Please click here for media coverage. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo v Philippines. Representing the former President of the Philippines in a human rights claim challenging her detention in Manila before the United Nations. R (oao Bancoult) v FCO (No.2). Representing Mr Bancoult in proceedings concerning the removal of Chagossians from the Chagos Islands in 1971 and their right to return (UK Supreme Court). Please click here for media coverage. Ireland v UK.Instructed to advise the hooded men on an application by the Republic of Ireland for revision of a 1978 decision by the European Court of Human Rights on torture Please click here for media coverage. Prosecutor v Ayash et al.Member of the prosecuting team in case against four persons accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri (Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague). Prosecutor v Milosevic.Judicial assistant to Judge Patrick Robinson, Presiding Judge in the trial of former President of Serbia for international crimes allegedly committed in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia including crimes against humanity and genocide. (UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, The Hague).
- Merck (MSDIA) v Ecuador. Assistant to the Tribunal in UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a claim of denial of justice by a US company against Ecuador (Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague).
Amal has also been appointed to a number of international human rights investigations and conflict-resolution panels. She is or has been:
- Appointed to the UK Attorney General s Public International Law C Pane l (2014-2019), a small panel of experts in international law who will be called upon to represent the UK Government in cases involving public international law in international courts and in the courts of England and Wales;
- Counsel to the Inquiry led by UN Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights. Ben Emmerson QC, into the use of drones. Watch CNN coverage here ;
- Adviser to Kofi Annan, the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League on Syria ;
- Legal adviser to the head of the UN commission investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and other terrorist attacks in Lebanon;
- Legal adviser to the King of Bahrain in connection with the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry headed by Professor Cherif Bassiouni;
- Member of Expert Panel of Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative formed by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague to gather evidence of sexual crimes committed in conflict zones;
- Rapporteur for the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute. focusing on the independence of the judiciary in Egypt following the 2011 revolution. See latest report and video here.
Teaching and Training
Amal is a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School. where she co-teaches the Human Rights course with Professor Sarah Cleveland.
Amal regularly devises and delivers training to judges, state officials and UN investigators on international criminal law and human rights.
Amal can be instructed directly in suitable cases under the Bar s Direct Access scheme.