William and Mary Law School

Malone, Pro Bono Counsel for Jailed American Democracy Activist, Talks to Media About His Release

  • Pro Bono Counsel
    Pro Bono Counsel
    W&M Law Professor Linda Malone served as a pro bono counsel for Nguyen Quoc Quan, an American democracy activist, who was recently released from jail in Vietnam and returned home to California on January 30.

Linda Malone, the Marshall-Wythe Foundation Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, was recently recognized by members of the international news media for her efforts in the representation of Nguyen Quoc Quan, an American citizen and democracy activist who was released from a prison in Vietnam at the end of January.

His release was an unexpected turn of events according to Malone, who told CNN on Jan. 31 that "Dr. Quan's release comes as a major and wonderful surprise, given that the government has on trial 22 people right now for subversion, and recently convicted 14 others of similar charges based on protected advocacy of nonviolent democratic reform."

Quan had been imprisoned since April 2012, originally charged by the Vietnamese government with terrorism and attempting to overthrow the government. Those charges were later reduced to subversion, for which he was awaiting trial before his sudden release. Malone had been serving pro bono as a part of Quan's legal representation.

Malone credits the U.S. reaction to his arrest for his discharge, telling the Sacramento Bee, "There is no question that the media attention, public outrage and efforts of the State Department were critical in preventing conviction of a U.S. citizen for exercising a clearly protected human right to freedom of speech and thought."

Malone's statements also appeared in other media such as the Miami Herald, Modesto Bee, Los Angeles Times and Radio Free Asia.

Malone is the founding director of the Human Security Law Center at William & Mary Law School. She is the author of 12 books and numerous articles on international law, human rights and environmental law. Additionally, Malone is a member of the American Law Institute, serves on the Board of Directors for the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, and was an original member of the Environmental Law Academy of the World Conservation Union.