Azmy, Baher

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Legal Director


Baher Azmy is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he directs a 25-person legal staff in litigation and advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights, particularly in the areas of racial justice, government accountability, transnational justice, and challenging executive-branch excesses in the post-9/11 era.  At CCR, Baher has litigated nationally-significant cases related to “stop and frisk” policing practices, prolonged solitary confinement, the rights of Guantanamo detainees, and accountability for victims of torture. Baher is on leave from his faculty position at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he taught Constitutional Law and directed the Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic.  While a Clinical Law Professor, Baher represented Murat Kurnaz, a German resident of Turkish descent imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. military as a so-called “enemy combatant,” until his release in August 2006 and litigated cases challenging police misconduct and violations of the rights of immigrants, prisoners, and the press. He has authored legal briefs in the Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court on various human rights and international law issues, testified before Congress, and produced substantial scholarship on issues related to access to justice.  He is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and of NYU School of Law, where he was also a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Interest Scholar.  In 2012, Baher was selected as one of the top 500 lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine and featured along with 16 other attorneys on its cover and in a special section profiling influential and prominent members of the legal profession.


Law Review Articles:

An Insufficiently Accountable Presidency: Some Reflections on Jack Goldsmith’s Power and Constraint, 45 Case Western Res. J. Int'l L. 45 (2012)

The Pedagogy of Guantanamo, 26 Md. J. Int'l L. 101 (2011)

A Return to the Writ: Executive Detention, Boumediene, and the New Common Law of Habeas, 95 Iowa L. Rev. 445 (2010)

Rasul v. Bush and the Intra-Territorial Constitution, 2 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 369 (2007)

Symposium Foreword: Guantanamo: How Should We Respond, 37 Seton Hall. L. Rev. 685 (2007)

Squaring the Predatory Lending Circle: A Case for the States as Laboratories of Experimentation, 57 Florida L. Rev. 295 (2005)

Modeling a Response to Predatory Lending: The New Jersey Home Ownership Security Act of 2002, 35 Rutgers L. J. 645 (2004) (David Reiss)

Unshackling the Thirteenth Amendment: Modern Slavery and a Reconstructed Civil Rights Agenda, 71 Fordham L. Rev. 981 (2002)

Other Publications:

"Damages, Equity and the Rule of Law," in Foreign Affairs Litigation in U.S. Courts, Brill/Martinus Njihoff Publishers (2012) (John Norton Moore, ed.)

The Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, NYU Press (2009) (Denbeaux and Hafetz, eds., several essay contributions)

Epilogue: Murat Kurnaz, Five Years of My Life, Palgrave (2008)


Spying or no flying?, Al Jazeera, 5/7/14 (with Ramzi Kassem)

A Date with Justice for Victims of Abu Ghraib, National Law Journal, 4/16/14

Stop-and-Frisk Case, New York Times, 12/29/13

U.S. Militarism Does Not Advance Human Rights,, 8/30/13

Obama’s Catastrophic Guantánamo Failure, The Daily Beast, 4/29/13

Gitmo Attorneys Applaud Decision To Return Omar Khadr To Canada, Eurasia Review, 9/29/12

Corporations need to be held accountable for global abuses, The Progressive, 9/27/12

The Face of Indefinite Detention, New York Times, 9/15/12

Obama turns back the clock on Guantanamo, Washington Post, 8/16/12

10 Years Later, Guantánamo Represents Obama’s Failed Promise, The Boston Herald, 1/11/12

Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor, New York Times, 1/7/12 (with Murat Kurnaz)