STANFORD, CA, May 25, 2023 – Stanford Law School (SLS) today announced that Amrit Singh has joined the law school as a professor of the practice and as the founding executive director of SLS’s new Rule of Law Impact Lab. The SLS Rule of Law Impact Lab studies and deploys legal tools—litigation and legal research, documentation, and advocacy-–in close collaboration with local practitioners and academics to combat democratic decline around the world, including in the United States. The Rule of Law Impact Lab is inspired by the university-wide Stanford Impact Labs model, which focuses on tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges through the combined efforts of community leaders, policymakers, and social scientists.
The SLS Rule of Law Impact Lab will have a transnational, multi-jurisdictional focus on combating democratic decline, including through research and public education, advocacy, and litigation. The lab will engage students in experiential learning and will leverage resources and disciplines across the broader university, including expertise housed at the School of Humanities and Sciences, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Neukom Center for the Rule of Law, and Stanford Impact Labs.
A longtime human rights lawyer, Singh has conducted strategic litigation, research and advocacy on a broad range of rule of law and human rights issues in the United States and globally. Prior to joining Stanford Law School, she was the director of the Accountability Division at the Open Society Justice Initiative, a program of the Open Society Foundations which uses the law to promote and defend justice and human rights, including through litigation before domestic and international courts.
Singh successfully litigated before the European Court of Human Rights in cases seeking accountability for European government complicity in the CIA’s post-September 11, 2001, torture program. She also successfully challenged Egypt’s emergency law, as well as its torture and arbitrary detention practices, before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. She served as counsel in U.S. litigation seeking accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Singh previously taught at Yale Law School as a visiting lecturer and at the New York University School of Law as an adjunct professor. She also previously served as a staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she brought landmark litigation compelling the Bush administration to publicly disclose its “torture memos,” and numerous other government records uncovering its policy of torture.
“I am honored to launch this important new program at Stanford Law School at a time when democracy and the rule of law are increasingly under threat around the world,” Singh said. “This project’s combination of academic and practice-oriented tools is particularly promising for understanding what works and what does not in addressing such systemic problems.”
“Amrit’s extensive experience as a human rights lawyer and her long focus on the importance of the rule of law ideally position her to launch and lead our new Rule of Law Impact Lab,” said Jenny Martinez, Dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law. “We are delighted she has chosen to bring her combination of academic, public policy, and courtroom experience to Stanford Law School as we train the next generation of lawyers to advance just and prosperous societies around the world.”