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Doughty Street’s Amal Clooney lands UK foreign office role

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Human rights barrister appointed media freedom envoy

📷 Amal Clooney (Credit: Doughty Street Chambers)

High-flying Doughty Street Chambers barrister Amal Clooney has been appointed by the UK government as special envoy to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In her latest role, the international human rights specialist will chair a panel of legal experts who will support countries to repeal “outdated and draconian laws” and “strengthen legal mechanisms” to protect journalists.

Nearly 100 journalists were killed, 348 detained and 60 taken hostage by non-state groups in 2018 alone, according to the UK government.

The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the panel will examine legal and policy initiatives that states can adopt to improve media freedom. This includes:

• Offering advice to governments who want to strengthen legal mechanisms to improve media freedom.

• Supporting the repeal of outdated and draconian laws.

• Encouraging and supporting governments to help ensure existing laws and international obligations are enforced.

• Promoting best practice and model legislation to protect a vibrant free press.

Commenting on her appointment, Clooney, who along with the other experts will work on a pro-bono basis, said:

“I am honoured to have been appointed as the Foreign Secretary’s Special Envoy on Media Freedom and to have been invited to chair the high level panel of legal experts.”

She continued: “Through my legal work defending journalists I have seen first-hand the ways in which reporters are being targeted and imprisoned in an effort to silence them and prevent a free media.”

Earlier this year, Legal Cheek reported that a mystery law student had forked out a reported $8,100 (£6,140) to have lunch with Clooney at Jean-Georges, a two-Michelin-star French restaurant in New York. The meal was understood to be one of the items up for sale as part of an annual fundraiser hosted by Columbia Law School, the Ivy League institution where Clooney has been a visiting professor since 2015.

23 Comments

Andon

“Clooney… will work on a pro-bono basis…”. So the post is remunerated at legal aid rates then. At least HM Govt is being consistent.

Anonymous

If oppressive states want to repeal their oppressive laws they presumably know how to do so. Not sure the problem is tyrants sitting their thinking “Gosh I’d really like to get rid of all the oppressive laws I brought in but I don’t know how.”

Anonymous

Exactly! Is there a more dismal expression in public life than “Promoting best practice”? When you read that phrase, you just know that you are dealing with a quango that serves to serve the interests of those who sit on it.

SurelyNot

Best practice = Box tickers

Drumpfenkrieg

I demand that the persecution of journalists (that most pious and priestly of castes) cease at once!

Journalists must be allowed to shill and spread neoliberal propaganda on behalf of the Open Society Foundation and US State Department unimpeded!

Anonymous

Lol!!!

Donna from Archives

Should we not get our house in order before gallivanting about promoting a ‘vibrant free press’?

Anonymous

How is she high flying?
High flying 40-something barristers are QCs

Anonymous

Funny to think, lord sumption was a qc before he was 40, and that was his second career!

SurelyNot

Yes, well he was a real lawyer. No fake news there!

Anonymous

He actually was a successful commercial barrister; before that he was a successful historian, with a PhD and a published book; all before he was 40; what has Amal done apart from Clooney lmao?

Anonymous

This disgusts me. A shameless, self publicising, virtue signalling, little time barrister whose only real achievement is wooing an actor with a fading career landing this job?!.

A recommendation from her prominant shameless friend, the Dutchess of Sussex, no doubt is what caused this dreadful outcome

Anonymous

It is an unpaid job though.

Anonymous

Is amal just clooney’s trophy wife with a makework job now?

Anonymous

Jelly

BEVERLY BILLARD

So why the hell is this IDIOT writer so quick to suggest its the recommendation of the Duchess. Bloody cheek ! Get a damn life you hater.

Anonymous

Politically and strategically, her appointment makes total sense, and it’s likely no coincidence that this comes before Julian Assange’s arrest. Just find it ironic and interesting that her former client gets arrested today while she gets appointed as the PR face of “media freedom.” Why aren’t journalists asking Clooney about Julian Assange and media freedom?

Anonymous

Yes, why aren’t journalists asking Clooney about Julian Assange and media freedom???

Anonymous

Just wanted to ask the same.

SurelyNot

Good point about Assange! Surely he needed the greatest humanitarian lawyer ever to walk the earth when he was arrested today! When he was a “cause celebre”, he was repeatedly used to bolster Clooney’s underwhelming CV, but she has now bought her way up thanks to her husband’s PR people, and so he is yesterday’s news.

The FCO role is a disgrace. It certainly does not make total sense. It’s a specially-tailored job which was never advertised, because Hunt has been courted and flattered by celebrity. Let’s wait for the self serving impact statement at the end of the year…

Anonymous

She makes £00,000 / year from that ‘role’.

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