Meet the Co-Presidents

Amal Clooney

Amal Clooney
Amal Clooney

Amal is a leading human rights lawyer and professor of law who has, over the last 20 years, consistently defended victims of injustice. She represents clients before international courts, including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. She is also a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School and a Senior Fellow at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.

CFJ’s TrialWatch program is an amplification of her work defending political prisoners, and her track record in securing freedom for unjustly detained journalists around the world is unmatched. The UK government appointed her as their Envoy on Media Freedom and in 2020, she was the recipient of Committee to Protect Journalist’s ‘Gwen Ifill Award’, recognizing ‘extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom’. She has successfully defended imprisoned journalists all over the world and currently represents  journalist Maria Ressa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 but faces a lifetime behind bars for her work in the Philippines. Amal’s vision for TrialWatch includes professionalizing and scaling the practice of trial monitoring and making sure that every person who is unjustly imprisoned has access to a lawyer who can advocate for their freedom.

Throughout her career Amal has represented victims and survivors of genocide, especially women and girls, giving rise to the investigative work of The Docket, which focuses on triggering prosecutions for atrocities around the world. And, she has launched a new initiative – Waging Justice for Women- focused on strategic litigation to combat gender inequality co-funded by the Gates Foundation.

Amal has been counsel to survivors in 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. She also represents victims in the first case alleging complicity in crimes against humanity by a company that funded ISIS and she was counsel in the first case before the European Court of Human Rights involving recognition of the Armenian genocide. She was recently counsel to 126 victims of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, at the International Criminal Court, and in 2021 was appointed Special Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Darfur.

A visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, she has also written what has been recognized as the leading treatise on fair trials around the world: ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law’, published by Oxford University Press in 2021 and already cited by the UK Supreme Court. In the leading legal directories she is described as ‘a brilliant legal mind’ who ‘handles cases of real international importance’ and has ‘a rare combination of intellectual depth and pragmatism’. The directories also spotlight her ‘superb advocacy’ and ‘commanding presence before courts’ in international human rights cases.


 

George Clooney

George Clooney

George has been deeply involved in creating accountability for genocide and other atrocity crimes in Africa and beyond for nearly two decades. He has testified at the UN Security Council as well as before the US Senate on multiple occasions about the need for accountability for atrocities committed in Darfur.

He has traveled to active war zones in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His first trip was with his father, Nick, after which they spoke at the rally for Darfur on the Washington Mall, which attracted 100,000 participants. The pair, along with Sentry co-founder John Prendergast, were also arrested in 2012 when they were part of the delegation that peacefully demonstrated in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., calling worldwide attention to the human rights violations being committed in Sudan.

In 2019 he led a successful boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei following the country’s attempts to enforce the death penalty for homosexuality. He has a unique position and ability to galvanize people around human rights issues, and over the years, he has also raised hundreds of millions of dollars for causes such as the Haiti earthquake victims, Indonesian tsunami and 9/11 victims.

 

George has advocated for peace in African conflicts directly with numerous heads of state and legislators around the world. He has co-written opinion pieces with John Prendergast in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, CNN, Foreign Affairs, Politico, TIME, VICE, the Guardian,  and USA Today about the way in which looting and war crimes go hand in hand in South Sudan, Sudan, and other conflicts.

In 2016, George co-founded The Sentry, CFJ’s strategic partner, with John Prendergast and has also co-founded two other human rights initiatives, Not On Our Watch and The Satellite Sentinel Project, which joined together to become The Sentry.