On Thursday, George and Amal Clooney announced that they’ve embarked on a noble mission: reversing the recent decline of celebrity apps. At the end of 2018, Kim, Khloé, Kourtney, and Kylie each made an identical announcement that the era of charging their fans $2.99 per sister per month for even more Kardashian content had come to an end. Kendall Jenner had made the same move a year earlier, but it wasn’t over for others just yet. Even Taylor Swift deigned to make like the Kardashians, bringing about the demise of The Swift Life (and its accompanying “Taymojis”) at the start of 2019.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like “Clooneymojis” will be replacing them anytime soon. Successful as an app about the power couple’s personal life would no doubt be, George and Amal have instead chosen to bring more details about their other life—as cofounders and presidents of the Clooney Foundation for Justice—to the masses, which is dedicated to exposing injustice, and bringing about accountability for those who abuse human rights.
It’s a rather insurmountable task, and one they’ve been attempting to approach with their foundation since late 2016. As of this week, however, they have a new plan: On Thursday, the pair announced what Amal described as “a global initiative to monitor trials, expose abuses, and advocate for victims, so that injustice can be addressed, one case at a time.” Which is to say: Yes, they’re rolling out a social justice app.
TrialWatch is a partnership with Microsoft, but even that official backing might not be enough to sway skeptics just yet. To be fair, it can’t hurt to try out something new—especially if it succeeds in monitoring justice. At the very least, they’re spreading awareness about the abuse of human rights, and certainly making that information accessible: “A large number of countries allow women and girls to be prosecuted for abortion. In some countries, you can be imprisoned or killed for who you love,” George plainly told those who gathered at Columbia University for the app’s announcement on Thursday.
As an attorney who specializes in human rights and international law, Amal has encountered such injustice firsthand. “Courts around the world are increasingly being used to silence dissidents and target the vulnerable,” she said in a statement. “But so far there has been no systematic response to this.” (Not to mention an app-oriented one.)
The plan is to use TrialWatch as a means to scrutinize criminal trials around the world. (More specifically, “to recruit and train trial monitors, including non-lawyers, who can observe and report on criminal trials around the world, and use a specialized app to record the proceedings.”) Fortunately, Microsoft and George aren’t the only ones who’ll be helping out Amal in that goal: Columbia Law School, the American Bar Association, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have all partnered with TrialWatch. And if all that isn’t enough, well, the Clooneys certainly have enough friends in high places to help out with rallying for support.