LONDON, England – Hollywood star George Clooney’s wife, celebrity human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, 37, is a prodigiously busy lady. No sooner has the “breathtakingly beautiful and formidably successful” lawyer accompanied her husband to the premiere of his latest movie than she is representing nine men from Northern Ireland who are seeking to take the UK to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The Independent reports that the case revolves around allegations that the “hooded men” were held without trial and tortured, following the Conservative government’s decision to introduce internment to Northern Ireland in 1971. The group, backed by the Irish Government, claims that then Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath knowingly condoned the use of torture on detainees during this period. According to Jim McIlmurray, the historian co-ordinating the legal action, documents have been uncovered which show “torture was discussed at the highest level with the knowledge of Heath,” adding:
“Because of this documentation the case is very much black and white. The UK Government had lied about its knowledge and six months prior to internment had ordered a special unit to carry out torture.”
The Independent also reports that Mrs Clooney will be accompanied by her husband on the trip “to ensure the case gets maximum publicity,” although McIlmurray is concerned that this could “turn the case into a circus.” It is not known whether this will be included in the proposed holiday to Ireland which George Clooney spoke of to the Irish Independent earlier this year . Clooney told the paper:
“I’ve been talking about going there for years and Bono has been trying to get me to do a bike ride around Ireland with him. He probably won’t be up for that now, but I’m definitely going to make a visit happen this summer. Amal has been several times, so she can show me around.”
This is far from the only high profile case which which Mrs Clooney, number two in the 2015 100 Most Powerful Arab Women List , has been involved.
First coming to prominence in 2011 as part of Julian Assange’s team fighting his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, in October last year Mrs Clooney visited Greece to advise the Greek government on how best to try to retrieve the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum. On that occasion she attended the New Acropolis Museum in Athens dressed by Chanel and Prada.
More recently Mrs Clooney joined the faculty of Columbia University as a visiting lecturer where she will lecture on human rights law and serve as a fellow with the law school’s Human Rights Institute. She chose an Oscar de la Renta suit for this occasion. Hello! Magazine reports “London-based Amal’s latest adventure couldn’t come at a better time. Her husband, George, 53, is currently based in New York, where he is filming his latest project, “Money Monster.”
There are signs that Mrs Clooney is beginning to fear the attention given to her clothing may detract from her serious role as a human rights advocate. She is now representing the state of Armenia in its European Court of Human Rights case relating to the Armenian Genocide. The case centres on the freedom to describe the genocide of 1915, in which up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, as an “international lie.” Mrs Clooney is arguing in support of Switzerland’s criminal sanctions relating to denial of the Armenian Genocide.
When asked what she would be wearing to court for the hearing she replied “I’m wearing Ede and Ravenscroft” – a reference to the English legal robe makers and tailors established in 1689.