Human Rights Lawyer Amal Clooney speaks at Salem State University | North of Boston
SALEM — International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney addressed a crowd of more than 900 people Tuesday night for the Salem State University Foundation, Inc.
Award-winning journalist and Salem State alumna Anne Driscoll ’76 interviewed Clooney about her work as an international human rights lawyer. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Foundation’s popular lecture series. The event took place at the O’Keefe Complex in Salem State.
Clooney is an award-winning lawyer specializing in international law and human rights and visiting professor at Columbia Law School. Described as a “brilliant legal mind”, Clooney frequently represents victims of mass atrocities, including genocide and sexual violence. She has acted in many unprecedented human rights cases in recent years, including the world’s first trial against an ISIS member for genocide and the first case alleging complicity in crimes against humanity by a company that funded the terrorist group.
She has also represented Armenia in a case involving the Armenian Genocide and recently acted as counsel for 126 genocide victims in Darfur, Sudan before the International Criminal Court. In 2021, she was appointed special adviser to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Darfur. Clooney also represents political prisoners around the world and has helped secure the freedom of journalists arbitrarily detained for their work around the world.
In 2020, Clooney received the Gwen Ifill Award for ‘Extraordinary and Sustained Achievement in the Cause of Press Freedom’ from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Driscoll is an award-winning journalist and two-time Fulbright Scholar in Ireland. He has investigated wrongful convictions and lectured at the National University of Ireland in Galway, the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College Dublin and the Justice Brandeis Law Project at the Schuster Institute. for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
His investigative work helped exonerate Angel Echavarria, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole but released in 2015 after serving 21 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and was also cited by the legal team of Stephen Pina, who was released.
His work also helped Irish President Michael D. Higgins grant the first posthumous presidential pardon in Irish history to Harry Gleeson, who was wrongfully hanged to death in 1941 for the murder of his neighbor Moll McCarthy. She is also a certified and licensed social worker in Massachusetts who has written a series of self-help guides for girls.