New Legal Director Baher Azmy

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Baher is an esteemed lawyer, professor and scholar, who has actively pursued constitutional and human rights litigation challenging policies emerging from the so-called “war on terror,” including policies related to indefinite executive detention, extraordinary rendition, and torture. Baher represented Murat Kurnaz, a German resident of Turkish descent imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay by the U.S. military as a so-called “enemy combatant,” until his release in August 2006. He visited Guantánamo numerous times and participated extensively in varied briefing that has occurred in the courts, including in the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush and in the consolidated Guantánamo habeas cases. He has continued to provide leadership on issues surrounding Guantánamo cases and national security in a variety of academic, professional, and human rights forums, and has testified before Congress. He also litigated cases challenging police misconduct and violations of the rights of immigrants, prisoners, and the press. He has authored numerous legal briefs in the Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court on various human rights and international law issues, and has produced substantial scholarship on issues related to access to justice. His work on the Kurnaz case and others has been featured in a number of prominent media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CBS’ 60 Minutes, The Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Village Voice, Mother Jones and New York Magazine.


Prior to his arrival at CCR, Baher was a law professor at Seton Hall University, where he directed the Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic and taught Constitutional Law. Seton Hall students elected him Professor of the Year in 2007. Previous to his position at Seton Hall, he was in private practice in New York and clerked for then-Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Baher is a magna cum laude graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Interest Scholar. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in American History and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.