24 October 2023,  NEW YORK - The Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (HRI) and the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) are delighted to introduce Tejal Jesrani as the new Director of the TrialWatch Project at Columbia Law School. With a distinguished career spanning over two decades in the areas of immigration law, international human rights and international criminal law, Jesrani brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to advancing social justice globally.

"As I step into the role of TrialWatch Director at Columbia Law School, I am honored to lead our collaboration with the Clooney Foundation for Justice on this impactful initiative to advance the right to a fair trial globally,” said Jesrani. “I am excited to work with the CFJ team and partners worldwide to monitor trials, advocate for those unlawfully detained, train students, amplify the voices of those who need it most, and drive change in the realm of global justice."

Jesrani’s impressive journey in the field of human rights and criminal justice includes significant contributions to international policy, intergovernmental negotiations, capacity building, and groundbreaking research. Her dedication to promoting fair trials, rehabilitation, and reintegration is a testament to her unwavering commitment to justice.

Throughout her distinguished career, including over 16 years in various roles at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),  serving as a visiting Scholar at NYU’s Bernstein Institute for Human Rights, Attorney Advisor at the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review and at Human Rights Watch as a Women’s Rights Associate, Jesrani has demonstrated a dedication to  advancing change within the criminal justice system. Her recent research, which incorporates the perspectives and experiences of incarcerated individuals, illustrates her devotion to rightsholder-centered and compassionate rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

The faculty of the Human Rights Institute and The Clooney Foundation for Justice warmly welcome Jesrani to her new position. Professor Sarah Knuckey, Clinical Professor of Law, Human Rights Institute Faculty Co-director and Director of the Human Rights Clinic shared that: "We are delighted to announce Tejal Jesrani as our new Director of TrialWatch. With her exceptional background in international criminal justice and human rights advocacy, Tejal brings a wealth of expertise and a deep commitment to social justice. Her leadership will elevate TrialWatch's efforts to ensure fair and transparent legal proceedings worldwide."

TrialWatch is a Clooney Foundation for Justice initiative that monitors criminal trials against the most vulnerable, provides free legal support to get innocent people out of prison, and advocates for the reform of unfair laws.  TrialWatch has monitored trials in over 40 countries and is building a Global Justice Index that will be the first to evaluate and rank countries on their justice systems through real-world data. Columbia Law School has been a critical partner since TrialWatch’s launch at the law school in 2019.

Through monitoring, evidence-based reporting, thematic analysis of cutting-edge issues, partnerships with law schools around the world, and advocacy, Jesrani, working in close collaboration with the Clooney Foundation for Justice and a broad spectrum of legal experts, human rights advocates, and communities worldwide, will seek to deepen and strengthen TrialWatch's work to wage justice to create a world where human rights are protected and no one is above the law.