Clooney Foundation for Justice co-founder Amal Clooney and CFJ board member Philippa Webb yesterday hosted their first in-person event since the publication of their book The Rights to a Fair Trial in International Law on Tuesday, May 17.
The right to a fair trial is at the centre of what TrialWatch – a CFJ initiative – stands for, as countries around the world continue to use the courts and overly broad laws to punish critics and people who do not conform to societal norms.
The book, which comes in two volumes, offers a comprehensive overview of what the right to a fair trial means and why it is central to the concept of international justice. It has received critical acclaim, including the former British Judge at the International Criminal Court, Judge Sir Howard Morrison, who considers it “a formidable reference tool that is invaluable for practitioners on all sides of any trial and essential for judges at all stages of proceedings”. The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan QC, described the book as a “a tour de force”.
The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law has already been cited by the UK Supreme Court during a judgement. And last month, the American Society of International Law awarded Amal and Philippa the book the Certificate of Merit, its top publishing prize in international law.
Professor Clooney 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 had led to a number of awards including from the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Professor Webb recently joined CFJ’s board and is Professor of Public International Law at King’s College London and a barrister at Twenty Essex chambers. She is a specialist in public international law and represents states, companies, organisations and individuals in domestic and international courts, including the International Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the UK Supreme Court. She has been described as “the foremost expert on state immunity” and is a leading scholar on international dispute settlement and human rights.
They are also both part of an International Criminal Court Legal Task Force on Accountability for Crimes Committed in Ukraine.
The event was hosted by the British Institute of Comparative Law, with speakers including The Rt Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as the moderator and Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws QC and the Rt. Hon. Lady Arden of Heswall DBE as discussants.