Saying that corrupt governments across the world are increasingly using their courtrooms to abuse citizens and silence dissidents, Amal and George Clooney on Thursday announced from a Columbia Law School stage a new global initiative aimed at monitoring trials, exposing abuses and rallying support for the victims.

Called “TrialWatch,” the Clooneys made clear that their project is ambitious. While tapping the resources of various project partners, including Microsoft, Columbia Law and the American Bar Association, they say they will fan out trained lawyer and nonlawyer “monitors” to courtrooms worldwide, including to remote corners of the globe, where it is believed that the risk runs high for sham and corrupt trials.

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