Baher Azmy

Legal Director

Baher Azmy is the Legal Director of the Center of Constitutional Rights. He directs all litigation around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. At the Center for Constitutional Rights, he has litigated cases related to discriminatory policing practices (stop and frisk), government surveillance, the rights of Guantanamo detainees, rights of asylum seekers, and accountability for victims of torture. Baher is currently 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 at Guantanamo Bay, until his release in August 2006. In addition, he litigated cases challenging police misconduct and violations of the rights of immigrants, prisoners, and the press. He has authored numerous legal briefs in the federal appeals courts and the United States Supreme Court on issues related to human rights and constitutional law, testified before Congress, and produced substantial scholarship on issues of access to justice. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and of NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Public Interest Scholar. From 2012-2019, Baher has been selected as one of the top 500 lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine.

Baher has been published by and appeared on major media outlets including The New York TimesThe Washington Post, 60 Minutes, PBS Newshour, and MSNBC. 

His scholarly writing includes:

  • "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 Pedagogy of Guantanamo,” 26 Md. J. Int'l L. 101 (2011)
  • 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)f
  • “Unshackling the Thirteenth Amendment: Modern Slavery and a Reconstructed Civil Rights Agenda,” 71 Fordham L. Rev. 981 (2002)