“The Right to Insult in International Law” written by Amal Clooney and Philippa Webb. 16.03.2017

States all over the world are enacting new laws that criminalize insults, and using existing insult laws with renewed vigour. In this article, we examine state practice, treaty provisions, and case law on insulting speech. We conclude that insulting speech is currently insufficiently protected under international law and regulated by confused case law and commentary. We explain that the three principal international treaties that regulate speech provide conflicting guidance on the right to insult in international law, and the treaty provisions have been interpreted in inconsistent ways by international courts and United Nations bodies. We conclude by recommending that international law should recognize a “right to insult” and, drawing on U.S. practice under the First Amendment, we propose eight recommendations to guide consideration of insulting speech in international law. These recommendations would promote coherence in international legal standards and offer greater protection to freedom of speech.

This Article originally appeared in Volume 48.2 of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. A PDF of this Article may be found here or by clicking on the title below.


Source : Doughty Street International


Amal Clooney to represent ISIS survivor Nadia Murad and victims of Yazidi genocide


In a triumphant win for the thousands of Yazidi women who have been enslaved by the Islamic State, Amal Clooney has confirmed that she will represent victims of the Yazidi genocide, including ISIS survivor and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Nadia Murad.

“The European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the U.S. government and the U.K. House of Commons have all recognized that there is a genocide being perpetrated by IS against the Yazidis in Iraq,” Clooney said in a statement to Women in the World. “How can it be that the most serious crimes known to humanity are being carried out before our eyes but are not being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague?”

Amal Clooney will act as their counsel to achieve accountability for the genocide, sexual enslavement and trafficking of Yazidi girls and women by the Islamic State in Iraq. They plan to seek an International Criminal Court investigation and prosecution of the crimes committed against Nadia Murad and the Yazidi community.

Women in the World recently interviewed 23-year-old activist Nadia Murad, who was one of the thousands of Yazidi women abducted by ISIS. Murad was enslaved and raped by more than 12 ISIS fighters over a period of three months. Since her escape, Murad has been a courageous voice for women who have been impacted by ISIS’s control, and she has been a tireless crusader to end the ongoing genocide.

In December last year, she testified before the UN, describing after one failed escape, she was gang raped by fighters.

During her speech, she described how she was taken from her village in Iraq by Isil fighters in August 2014 and was then driven by bus to the city of Mosul.

yazidi-woman-nadia-islamic-state-torture.jpg.image_.784.410 1083249498_B977384133Z.1_20151219200735_000_GE45R2524.2-0 Dato-Ramlan-Ibrahim

In a statement to Women in the World, in association with the New York Times, Mrs Clooney lamented that despite recognition of the genocide by Isil, there still were no ICC prosecutions.

“The European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the US government and the UK House of Commons have all recognized that there is a genocide being perpetrated by Isil against the Yazidis in Iraq.

“How can it be that the most serious crimes known to humanity are being carried out before our eyes but are not being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague?” Amal Clooney said.

“We know that thousands of Yazidi civilians have been killed and that thousands of Yazidi women have been enslaved by a terrorist organisation, Isil, that has publicly proclaimed its genocidal intent. We know that systematic rapes have taken place, and that they are still taking place.

“And yet no one is being held to account. It is time that we see Isil commanders in the dock in The Hague, and I am honoured to have been asked to represent Nadia and the Yazidi community in their quest for legal accountability.”

It is believed that thousands of women and young girls are still under the control of Isil militants suffering unimaginable horrors.

Amal Clooney and her chambers will seek prosecution of the crimes against Ms Murad and will work towards getting justice for the trafficking of Yazidi girls and women in Iraq as well as their enslavement and cruel, barbaric treatment.

After months of traveling around the globe and imploring political leaders to help her cause, Murad told Women in the World that Clooney has given her confidence. “Amal and George received me at their home and opened for me their hearts,” said Murad. “They listened passionately to my story, and Amal gifted me by representing my case. Amal gave me renewed hope by being my voice.” Murad also called Clooney “an incredible, passionate woman,” who embraced her story and her pain. “She did not talk to me as a well-known world figure that people would love to take a photo with, she talked to me as a sister and guardian. She has immense power that made me proud of being a woman.”

Nadia Murad added: “It is important to establish justice, and Amal being a life-long defender of justice, it was a natural bond between her and I to be established. We are both defenders of justice, and peace seekers through justice. The final goal for us all is accountability to perpetrators of genocide, and justice for victims like myself.”

In February, a cross-party group of peers wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to use the UK’s position on the UN Security Council to begin the process of bringing war crimes prosecutions against Isil terrorists.

They said jihadist attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East must now be classed officially as genocide.

Amal Clooney also represents Yazda, a non-profit organization that has been helping the Yazidi community since the genocide began during ISIS’s attacks in August of 2014. The raids led to the deaths of an estimated 5,000 civilians, the enslavement of more than 2,000 women and girls, and the displacement of 400,000 people from the Yazidi homelands in Sinjar, the Ninevah plain, and Syria.

Source Women in the World

Press Statement by A Clooney and M Wassouf – Mr Mohamed Fahmy

Yesterday, Doughty Street published following statement.

Amal Clooney and Mark Wassouf, counsel for Mr. Mohamed Fahmy, a journalist currently imprisoned in Egypt, have issued a statement calling for Mr. Fahmy’s conviction to be overturned and for him to be released.

An English version of the press statement is available here; and an Arabic version is available here.

More information here : http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/article/press-statement-by-a-clooney-and-m-wassouf-mr-mohamed-fahmy

Her mother Baria Alamuddin makes appareances as an analyst on Middle Eastern affairs on Al-Jazeera television too .