Amal Clooney Resigns From UK Envoy Role After Government’s Plan To Break International Law

Amal quit via a letter to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.


by grazia |
Updated on

The British government showed pretty impeccable taste when recruiting Amal Clooney as their special envoy on media freedom. Unfortunately, they’ve now lost the esteemed lawyer: Amal has resigned after taking issue with the government’s announcement that they are fully prepared to break international law in order to see Boris Johnson's Brexit plan through. Naturally, many in the legal profession have voiced their discomfort and disgust with such an intention, and Amal has today stepped down via a letter to Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary.

‘I have been dismayed to learn that the government intends to pass legislation – the internal market bill – which, if enacted, would, by the government’s own admission, “break international law”’, Amal’s letter reads.

‘I was also concerned to note the position taken by the government that although it is an “established principle of international law that a state is obliged to discharge its treaty obligations in good faith”, the UK’s “parliament is sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation which is in breach of the UK’s treaty obligations”.

‘Although the government has suggested that the intended violation of international law is “specific and limited”, it is lamentable for the UK to be speaking of its intention to violate an international treaty signed by the prime minister less than a year ago.’

Amal added that she had held off on making such a statement until now, having hoped that the government may signal a turnaround or, indeed, any regret whatsoever. However, no such U-turn was signalled. Having ‘received no assurance that any change of position is imminent, I have no alternative but to resign from my position’, she writes.

‘I am disappointed to have to do so because I have always been proud of the UK’s reputation as a champion of the international legal order, and of the culture of fair play for which it is known. However, very sadly, it has now become untenable for me, as special envoy, to urge other states to respect and enforce international obligations while the UK declares that it does not intend to do so itself.’

Amal, of course, became internationally famous when she began dating, and eventually married, Hollywood actor George Clooney. But her professional accomplishments far outweigh a few movies on the CV. As explained by her official biography on Doughty Street’s official website Amal, among many other things, served as senior advisor to Kofi Annan (then the UN’s Envoy on Syria), is a member of the UK team on preventing sexual violence in conflict zones, and is ranked by Chambers and Partners as one of the country’s top human rights lawyers.

In short, undeniably a woman you want on your team. Will her stance – and that of countless other lawyers – change anything in the long run? Will Amal ever make our dreams come true and enter politics herself? We can dream, can’t we?

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