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What does a Human Rights Lawyer do

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What does a Human Rights Lawyer do Empty What does a Human Rights Lawyer do

Post by carolhathaway Thu 30 Mar 2017, 06:28

An article about Amal's work (I guess it's the first time that Vanity Fair talked to Human Rights Lawyers):

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Vanity Fair



[size=44]Amal Clooney’s Work, Explained by International Human Rights Lawyers[/size]

Clooney is one of the most famous women in the world, but to understand what she actually does, we turned to the experts.



MARCH 29, 2017 4:30 PM

[url= Clooney%E2%80%99s Work%2C Explained by International Human Rights Lawyers][/url]
[url= Clooney%E2%80%99s Work%2C Explained by International Human Rights lawyers&][/url]

By Jean-christophe Bott/Epa/Rex/Shutterstock.

Most celebrity humanitarians—including Bono, Oprah, and Angelina Jolie—were famous before they were advocates. Not so for Amal Clooney. She went from a respected international human-rights lawyer to one of the planet’s most recognizable faces when she married a certain Oscar-winning George in September 2014. While the elevated public profile hampers how well she can keep some facts private (like that she’s expecting twins), it has improved her ability to call attention to marginalized groups, one of the most essential aspects of her job. Thanks to Clooney, even tabloids on either side of the pond now report on the Yazidi women who have been kidnapped, raped, and enslaved at the hands of ISIL.
Clooney has talked about the positive and negative aspects of her newfound fame. She recently told Fiona Bruce on BBC News at Six, “There is lots of my work that takes place behind closed doors that is not ever seen. I think if there are more people who now understand what's happening about the Yazidis and ISIS, and if there can be some action that results from that, that can help those clients, then I think it's a really good thing to give that case the extra publicity that it may get.”
But with so much of her work now filtered through tabloids, which are famously more concerned with her clothing than with her clients, it can be hard for readers to follow what happens. What does an international human rights lawyer do, and how is it different from the work of other lawyers both on TV and in real life? Vanity Fair spoke to several international human-rights lawyers to gain insight into their work and shed light on what Amal Clooney might do on a day-to-day basis.
“I think human-rights lawyers for a long time were thought of kind of like the hippie aspect of lawyers,” said Sara Elizabeth Dill, the director of criminal justice standards and policy at the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. Dill has been aiding those hit by President Trump’s travel ban. Clooney and others, in Dill’s opinion, have brought “a level of professionalism and accomplishment” to the role. Since Clooney “came on the scene,” international human-rights lawyer Hilary Stauffer, who works at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said interest in her own work has spiked “100 percent.”
Since 2010, Clooney has been employed by Britain’s Doughty Street Chambers, where she specializes in public international law, international criminal law, and human rights. Previously, she worked as a defense attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, where she helped to represent former Enron executives and other corporate clients.

Clooney is well known in her field for not only defending government leaders who’ve gone to prison but also for advocating on behalf of neglected and exploited groups. “If you are a lawyer and you want to take on easier cases, you can prosecute traffic violations or something. You'd have a very high rate of success, and you probably could sleep more easily at night. But that's not what drives me. I want to work on cases that I feel the most passionate about,” she said in an interview with NBC in January 2016.
Clooney detailed the human-rights violations suffered by 6,700 Yazidi women during her first U.N. appearance in November. Around that time, she and George founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice, where they serve as co-presidents. In addition, she has also been a visiting professor at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute.
As an international criminal lawyer, Clooney has defended government leaders who’ve been removed from power, including former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed. Some of Clooney’s more contentious clients have included the dictatorial King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa; Abdullah al Senussi, former intelligence chief to the late Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi; and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“There really is no average day,” said Juliet S. Sorensen, Harry R. Horrow professor of international Law at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and an associate of the school’s Center for International Human Rights. An international human-rights lawyer could be anywhere on the globe on a given day; ithey are constantly reading news to stay informed about where help might be needed. They meet with or take phone calls from people seeking assistance. Much of the job entails research and writing, but there is also immediate crisis response, such as helping procure food and medical attention for those in the area of the crisis.
“It’s almost social work, where you’re getting people psychological care; you’re helping people find housing. I’ve had to buy clients clothes from time to time,” said Dill. “You’re working with the most vulnerable populations in the world,” she continued, adding that oftentimes “they have no family, they have no support group, they’ve had to flee with the clothes on their backs, or everything they have is destroyed.”

For example, Clooney advised former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the plight of Syria, where a civil war has waged for the past six years (in January 2017, the U.N. announced that there were nearly 4.9 million registered Syrian refugees). When Clooney was just a toddler, her own family fled her native Lebanon during its civil war, eventually settling in England.
Evidence-gathering fieldwork involves locating victims and witnesses, conducting interviews and taking photographs. “Archiv[ing] the violations and abuses . . . is the only way you can achieve justice,” said Roueida El Hage, head of office of human rights in Kurdistan, Ninewa, and Kirkuk at the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq. The job can also be quite physical.
Lawyers will also enlist help from local community-based partners. “They will know the context and they’ll know the local law,” Bernstein Institute faculty director Margaret Satterthwaite, who is also a clinical professor at New York University's Global Justice Clinic, said. According to Dill, “Providing testimony, lobbying Congress, working with other countries in terms of rule of law development, training judges and prosecutors and politicians” can all come into play, along with the nonstop task of educating the public.
Lengthy court cases “may not necessarily be the right way to get the result that you want,” said Stauffer, noting that most human rights lawyers don’t spend too much time before judges. “Most of the time you don’t win your cases, actually,” Sukti Dhital, deputy director of the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU Law, said. “But you get these small victories that kind of propel you to keep going.”
Defending the Armenian people, Clooney lost a case in the European Court of Human Rights in October 2015. There she challenged a Turkish politician who classified the 1915 Armenian genocide as an “international lie.” “The most important error made by the court below is that it casts doubt on the reality of the Armenian genocide that the people suffered a hundred years ago,” Clooney said. “The lower court reached its conclusions that the genocide was not proved or even provable without using any of the fact-gathering tools available to it.” Despite her arguments, his right to deny the massacre was upheld.
Satterthwaite added that a career of regularly confronting atrocities puts human-rights lawyers at risk of suffering “vicarious trauma.” “It is stressful, it is emotional, it is heartbreaking,” El Hage said.

The desire to serve, an enjoyment of public speaking, an analytical mind, creativity, and resilience were cited as characteristics international human-rights lawyers tend to possess. But Satterthwaite said that how a person responds to the Greek myth of Sisyphus—who spent eternity pushing a boulder uphill—is key.
“People who listen to that story and find it inspiring, not depressing” are best suited for this line of work, Satterthwaite said. Human rights lawyers, in Dill’s words, “look at the most horrific situations and see hope, and believe in the goodness of people.” Yet their greatest hope of all is for a future that renders their job obsolete.

[url= Clooney%E2%80%99s Work%2C Explained by International Human Rights Lawyers][/url]
[url= Clooney%E2%80%99s Work%2C Explained by International Human Rights lawyers&][/url]


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Achieving total Clooney-dom

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What does a Human Rights Lawyer do Empty Re: What does a Human Rights Lawyer do

Post by annemarie Thu 30 Mar 2017, 10:53

Interesting, they know they won't win all their cases but will get small victories.

Over the Clooney moon

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