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Steven M. Watt

Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program


Steven Watt is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. Watt specializes in civil and human rights litigation before domestic courts and international tribunals. Watt is counsel in a host of state and federal court cases involving U.S. rendition, detention, and interrogation programs, trafficking and forced labor, juvenile justice, women’s and immigrants’ rights, and prison conditions. In addition, Watt is counsel in a number of petitions before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, including those addressing domestic violence, arbitrary detention and torture, juvenile life without parole, immigrants’ rights, and voting rights. Prior to joining the ACLU, Watt was a human rights fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on post-9/11 civil and human rights litigation, including Rasul v. Bush, Arar v. Ashcroft, and Turkmen v. Ashcroft.  Before taking up residence in the United States, Watt worked for three years as a public defender and legal policy consultant for the Solomon Islands government, managed refugee camps in Tanzania, worked for a community-based development HIV/AIDS program in Uganda, and ran emergency programs for the internally displaced in Liberia. Originally from Scotland, Watt holds a law degree from the University of Aberdeen, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Edinburgh, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights from the University of Notre Dame.