Amal Clooney Releases Second Textbook, Freedom of Speech in International Law

Amal Clooney, international law and human rights barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, this week released her second textbook, Freedom of Speech in International Law. Freedom of Speecha textbook co-edited by former UK Supreme Court President Lord David Neuberger and published by Oxford University Press, is a widely endorsed roadmap for states and social media companies seeking to regulate speech in compliance with international law. Clooney discussed and celebrated the launch of the book with fellow legal experts at King’s College London. 

In too many autocracies you can now count on one hand the independent outlets that dare to speak out. And even in democracies, free speech is on the line,” said Amal Clooney. “We wrote this book in the hope that codifying the rights protected in international law can help those who are being targeted by rogue regimes or overzealous prosecutors.”

Freedom of Speech outlines the minimum protections for speech enshrined in international law, focusing on four types of laws that are being weaponized to silence the press and independent voices: laws regulating political speech, false speech, hate speech and speech related to national security. The book provides examples of where states are falling short and makes recommendations about how international standards should be interpreted, updated and enforced. These recommendations have been endorsed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, as well as experts and judges from across the world. 

 “This work is a unique and invaluable resource produced by two editors whose scholarship and distinction command the utmost respect,” said The Hon. Mr Justice Tugendhat, a retired High Court judge in England and Wales who served as the High Court's senior media judge.

This is the definitive book for everyone working on and interested in the right to freedom of speech,” said Judge Francoise Tulkens, former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights. “It clearly translates the standards of international law into a guide for action and handles sensitive subjects in a fair and nuanced way. I whole heartedly agree with its recommendations.”

Geoffrey Robertson AO KC, barrister and former United Nations judge, described the book as “an authoritative account of international law protections” which “will enable improper attacks on free speech to be more easily recognised and condemned. It will serve as a vital guide for journalists, editors and media lawyers engaged in the struggle for worldwide distribution of important truths.”

Clooney represents clients before international courts including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. She is ranked in the legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading barrister in international human rights law, public international law, and international criminal law. Alongside husband George Clooney, Amal co-founded the Clooney Foundation for Justice (“CFJ”), a global philanthropic organization that provides free legal support to victims of human rights abuses in more than 40 countries.

The book is now available in bookshops and can be ordered online here.

Read more about Amal and her work here.


Amal Clooney and Lord Neuberger at the launch of their book Freedom of Speech in International Law