2018 Opening Plenary featuring Amal Clooney

Time: 8:30 - 10 a.m.
Date: November 14, 2018
Location: Skyline Ballroom | McCormick Place

Admission included with your 4-day, 3-day or Wednesday Day Pass or may be purchased online/on-site in registration.


Amal Clooney is a British human rights lawyer practicing at Doughty Street Chambers in London, where she specializes in international law and human rights. She is also a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School, where she teaches Human Rights.

Her clients have ranged from political prisoners and ousted Heads of State to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the Republic of Armenia. She has appeared before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights and various courts in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Oxford-educated lawyer is a frequent adviser to governments on international law and has held a number of posts within the United Nations, including senior adviser to Kofi Annan when he served as the UN Envoy on Syria. While in The Hague she worked on the genocide trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Since then she has challenged the detention of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymonshenko at the European Court of Human Rights. She has advised the Greek government on the return of the Parthenon Marbles, represented the Chagossians on their legal fight to return to their islands, and acted as counsel to the Armenian government in a case on the Armenian genocide. She is currently counsel to Nadia Murad and other Yazidi women who have been sexually enslaved by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, working to secure accountability for the genocide committed by ISIS in national and international courts. 

Clooney is on the UK government’s list of experts on international law and on the government’s panel to prevent sexual violence in conflict. She has also been named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, and she serves on the Forum’s Global Council on Human Rights.

In 2016, she co-founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice with her husband. One of their first projects--aiming to educate thousands of refugee children in Lebanon--was showcased at the 2016 United Nations summit on the refugee crisis.