Category Archives: Human Rights

Clooney: The Powerful Must be Held to Account

 In the public interest.  I have my concerns about Microsoft. If we are to talk about accountability and justice, then companies must also look at their violations of privacy, their behaviour and conduct and their activities that move us away from democracy towards compliance doctrines.

Human Rights Institute and Clooney Foundation for Justice Train Observers to Monitor Trials Where Human Rights May Be at Risk

Human Rights Clinic students working with TrialWatch have begun monitoring legal proceedings to help safeguard rights of journalists, dissidents, and LGBTQ individuals.

Beatrice Moritz / Clooney Foundation for Justice Columbia Law announced in December that it would partner with the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) and the American Bar Association (ABA) to develop TrialWatch.

Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute and the Clooney Foundation for Justice formally launched the TrialWatch program with a day-long conference at the Law School featuring human rights advocates, academics, journalists, and lawyers urging action to protect free speech and guarantee fair trials internationally. TrialWatch will train and send monitors to observe legal proceedings in nations where human rights may be at risk, develop “fairness reports,” and if necessary, assist defendants in pursuing remedies in human rights courts. Monitors will observe trials involving journalists, LGBTQ persons, women and girls, religious minorities, and human rights defenders.

Click to view Video of Amil and George Clooney discussing human rights.

“Without the fair administration of justice, it is not possible to hold the powerful to account. There can be no democracy, no freedom of speech, no safety for minorities,” said Amal Clooney, foundation co-president and a senior fellow at the Human Rights Institute.

“We measure corruption by governments, but not by courts. We monitor the fairness of elections, but not trials. Leaders accused of holding political prisoners can get away all too easily with bare denials and stock answers about the separation of powers. We need extensive monitoring, hard data, and committed advocacy if this is to change.”

Clooney and co-president George Clooney spoke at the April 25 launch event hosted by the Law School along with Dean Gillian Lester, the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law; Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71; Microsoft President Brad Smith ’84; former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein; and American Bar Association President Bob Carlson.

Their panel discussion was moderated by New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof. Clooney Foundation for Justice Co-presidents Amal and George Clooney.

A Microsoft-funded TrialWatch Legal Fellow, Sarah Mehta, is implementing the program and working with students in the Human Rights Clinic to train them in trial observation. The program has already sent Human Rights Clinic students Nicole O’Donnell ’19, Andie Reyes ’20, and Sophie Tarazi ’19 to monitor trials in Zambia and Turkey. “Columbia has a long and influential history in shaping international human rights law and institutions,” Dean Lester said, citing the Human Rights Institute and its work to advance research and best practices around trial monitoring as it relates to international human rights law and advocacy.

TrialWatch “is a logical extension of Columbia’s commitment to human rights. It represents a novel innovation that has the potential, through technology and global cooperation, to ensure the fair administration of justice and the dismantling of corrupt systems of governance around the world,” Lester said. “These are principles for which Columbia Law School has advocated since before the passage of the [1948] Declaration of Human Rights, and we are so pleased to continue to advance those ideals through TrialWatch today.”

The Fool’s Journey Home to Peace

I felt inspired to write this today.  What we fear we create.  When we own it we change the outcome and indeed the future for children.

Before reading the poem below here are two trailers that connect to it.  The first is Hackshaw Ridge, the US soldier who saved lives rather than ending them. He asked god ‘one more…’ Every life is precious.  The second is a scene out of Star Wars when Luke sees himself in Darth Vader. There is great wisdom in films when you are open to truth.

The poem is to awaken the force as those seen as the Fool discovers the journey home. Truth is the pathway. Whistle-blowers are the way showers.



I sit in a café feeling inspired,

The fire of my inquiry licks at the wood that is called the forest,

For we only see the wood for the trees,

We cannot see nature and its intimate wisdom that stands still,

For all to see,

But many do not hear the whisper on the winds of time,

That we must change or fall,

For how can one hear a tree fall in the forest if we no longer exist.


I find my road is off the beaten track,

I have taken the side road,

Albeit a track less travelled,

For I must find my way through the jungle alone,

For the dark night of the soul was confronting all fear,

40 days in the desert was to confront the rings of fear,

For there are many rings causing fear in this world

Of confusion.


I feel I have journeyed for many lifetimes in the ONE,

I have stood in many shoes feeling their feelings,

For humanity is where we are the same same but different,

Dictatorship demands those different be the same and not different,

And these are the polarities of climate change anchoring to determine a new direction,

The trick is to sense which way the wind blows in this play,

It can blow hot then cold or cold then hot as if a fever,

For our world is out of balance as it searches to recalibrate homeostasis,

For nature is the final arbiter in this argument that was an opportunity,

For disruption can be an opportunity to see oneself, to jump the track, to become uncomfortable as the rhythm of routine is disrupted,

As events are orchestrated by a conductor or some may say, a wizard,

For he seeks an endless yellow brick road believing gold is of value,

For in the end he will cash in the chips to discover he was fooled by the gold,

For all that glitters is not gold some may say,

To be good as gold is what glitters sparkles in an amplified light,

To know thyself is the Fool’s Gold,

It is the wisdom of the Fool that invites you to play,

To have a say for you are the creator of reality,

And the world turns up in this image,

What image are you creating? 

A world of terror, insecurity and threat for your children?

Or a world of security, infinite possibility and sustainability for all children?

As the universe is your voting booth,

It cannot be rigged or interfered with as real outcomes arise from intention,

What you intend will manifest if you believe and then see,

For watching t.v. manifests an alternate reality that you see then believe,

And this is the mirror of opposites,

It is the distorted mirror exaggerating, elongating, minimising who you think you are,

For when you look in the mirror to see you

only you can know you.


The Jester wears the diamonds as a chessboard as we all make moves,

We all contrast, differ, argue and fight as we seek the light of understanding to lead us out of confusion,

So re-member: It is not to avoid the fight but to stand out in the crowd to find the middle ground,

For at the centrepoint you will find room for all views as 360 degrees frees the mason,

For the Philosophers stone is not chiselled but shape changed by truth,

Purity can not emerge from cultures of abuse called defence changing rules of engagement,

To engage in the truth means to look at you as there is no enemy but unquestioned thoughts believed as true,

For the truth will never advocate abuse, incarceration, torture or extra judicial killings,

Hacksaw is not to remove the leg but to remember true faith that one is not in control,

For those experiencing the soul as less believe in full spectrum dominance and excess,

As greed is the addiction unquestioned,

Business-as-usual refuses to break containment of the slave trade,

As slavery in all its forms can be called freedom yet free dominion is free will,

And we are all given free will whether punished or not,

Human nature is free to love or not,

Human experience is free to fight wars or find peace,

For we must travel our journey through who we are not (psalm 23) to find the enlightenment of who we are,

And all take this journey whether they fight God or not,

For when you fight it always hurts,

When you love it expands the play,

For to play with life is to find your life purpose has meaning,

For this is a meaningfull life when you see to look into your world book.


My story book is a Fool for Peace,

It can be read with suspicion,

It can be read with intelligence,

It can be read with intrigue or mystery,

It can be read top to bottom or bottom to top,

Perhaps sampled by topic of interest or deleted,

As you choose,

For I am you,

You are me,

And each must play a part,

In creating eternity.


For this is the infinity symbol,

Of Omni,

It is a sign wave,

When we focus it becomes a particle no longer in theory,

What you think about you bring about (Universal Law of Attraction),

What you resists persists and what you look at disappears (see through illusion),

As the truth sets you free to see past resistance perfectly,

For to fight against always invites in,

This is the Yin and Yang of war and peace,

To focus on what you want determines happiness or continued drama,

As choice is a vote,

A vote determines if the boat floats or the Titanic sinks,

The think tank reveals addiction to materialism and the fear of not enough as the core problem,

Yet your happy destiny is unavoidable when you believe and then see,

So what you believe will enslave you or set you free,

To see there are no masters and no servants only possibilities…

To be or not to be


As this was always the quintessential Question of Philosophers,

Turning water into wine as an elixir to shape change the Philosophers stone masons on Temple Mount into free masons discovering the truth is unconditional love,

As the gentle dove of peace frees a divided Jerusalem, frees the City of London from magic circles (rings) and frees the Vatican to unite as Adam (atom) is Eve (beginning) touching Creation in reunification to find true love in equality,

For 3:3:3 is trinity, triune and three fold flame of completion of the Fool’s Journey,

For you can only be the Fool when you be true to yourself,

As the self made whole is diversity in unity,

As we are meant to be same same but different.

Life is the mirror not the mask,

The Fool wears the mask to pull off the mask of false faces to reveal,

Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader when he fights against himself
he becomes divided and unconscious within,

When he awakens the soul-force denial fades and he reveals the terror-ist within,

For Galactic peace dawns in the realisation that there is ‘no other’,

And in the end the last decision is to love ‘all that is’,

For the dove is waiting on your welcome …home,

To this veritable sustainable

Garden of Eden.