Representing Saddam Hussein: The Importance of Being Ramsey Clark

This Faculty Working Paper has been updated and posted within the Faculty Scholarly Works Series. It is currently available here.


This article examines the professional life of former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark in an effort to understand the many controversial representations and causes that he has undertaken during his post-government career. I do so through the vehicle of perhaps his most perplexing client choice - deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Although Hussein had other competent attorneys prepared and willing to represent him, Ramsey Clark nevertheless felt compelled to volunteer his services to the defense team. Why would he do so, and was his decision an ethically proper one under the circumstances? These are the specific questions that this Article endeavors to address; but more significantly, it critically explores the evolution of one of the most enigmatic and fascinating legal figures of modern times. Whether or not one agrees with Clark's views or the manner in which he has chosen to utilize his license to practice, a holistic assessment of the entirety of his professional career makes plain the critical importance of being Ramsey Clark.