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Hathaway, James C.

James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law
Director, Program in Refugee and Asylum Law

970 Legal Research

James C. Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law, is a leading authority on international refugee law whose work is regularly cited by the most senior courts of the common law world. He is the founding director of Michigan Law's Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam, and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. From 2008 to 2010, Prof. Hathaway was on leave to serve as dean of the Melbourne Law School, where he established Australia's first all-graduate (JD) law program. Before joining the Michigan faculty in 1998, he was professor of law and associate dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School (Toronto), and has been appointed a visiting professor at the universities of Cairo, California, Macerata, San Francisco, Stanford, Toronto, and Tokyo. He regularly provides training on refugee law to academic, non-governmental, and official audiences around the world. Prof. Hathaway's publications include The Law of Refugee Status (2014), with Michelle Foster; Transnational Law: Cases and Materials (2013), with Mathias Reimann, Timothy Dickinson, and Joel Samuels; Human Rights and Refugee Law (2013); The Rights of Refugees Under International Law (2005); Reconceiving International Refugee Law (1997); and more than 80 journal articles. He is founding patron and senior adviser to Asylum Access, a nonprofit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South, and counsel on international protection to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. Prof. Hathaway sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Refugee Studies, the Immigration and Nationality Law Reports, and

Recent Publications

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Prosecuting a Refugee for "Smuggling" Himself. U of Michigan Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper No. 429. Working Paper.
Full Text: SSRN

Co-author. Non-Refoulement in a World of Cooperative Deterrence. T. Gammeltoft-Hansen, co-author. Univ. of Michigan Law School, Law & Economics Research Paper Series, no. 14-016. Working Paper, 2014.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | SSRN

Co-author. The Law of Refugee Status. 2nd ed. M. Foster, co-author. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.​

"Food Deprivation: A Basis for Refugee Status?" Soc. Res. 81, no. 2 (2014): 327-39.
Full Text: MLaw Repository

Transnational Law: Cases and Materials. T. Dickinson, M. W. Reimann, and J. Samuels, co-authors. American Casebook Series. St. Paul, Minn.: West, 2013.

"The Michigan Guidelines on the Exclusion of International Criminals." Mich J. Int'l L. 35, no. 1 (2013): 3-13. (These Guidelines reflect the consensus of all the participants at the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in Refugee Law, held at Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, on March 22-24, 2013.)
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

​Co-author. "Supervising the Refugee Convention." A. M. North and J. M. Pobjoy, co-authors. Introduction to Roundtable on the Future of Refugee Convention Supervision. J. Refugee Stud. 26, no. 3 (2013): 323-6.
Full Text: SSRN | Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals

Co-author. "Roundtable on the Future of Refugee Convention Supervision." A. M. North and R. Byrne, co-authors. J. Refugee Stud. 26, no. 3 (2013): 327-30.
Full Text: SSRN | Oxford Journals (UMich users) | Oxford Journals

Editor. Human Rights and Refugee Law, 2 vols. Human Rights Law series. Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2013.

Introduction to Special Feature: Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. Mich. J. Int'l L. 35, no. 1 (2013): 1-2.
Full Text: MLaw Repository | HEIN(UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | WWW

"Refugees and Asylum." In Foundations of International Migration Law, edited by B. Opeskin, R. Perruchoud, and J. Redpath-Cross. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012.


Presented the keynote address "Why Presume State Protection?" at the Conference Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Canadian Refugee Law Office, Toronto, June 2014.

Presented "Atle Grahl-Madsen: Celebrating the Work of the Founder of the Academic Discipline of International Refugee Law" at the Bergen University Faculty of Law, Inaugural Atle Grahl-Madsen Memorial Address, Bergen, Norway, May 2013.

Presented "Moving Towards North African Participation in the International Refugee Regime" at the UNESCO Center on Law and Migration, Rabat, Morocco, May 2013.

Commentator on M. den Heijer's "Territorial Refugee Protection" and N. Franzen's "Extraterritorial Refugee Protection" at the University of Amsterdam Conference on the Practice of Shared Responsibility in International Refugee Law, Amsterdam, May 2013.

Presented "Why Refugee Law?" at the Asylum Access and Thai Committee for Refugees Expert Seminar, Bangkok, May 2013.

Presented "Thinking Globally" at the Melbourne Law School Global Law Students' Association, Melbourne, April 2013.

Presented "Food Deprivation as the Basis for Refugee Status" at the New School Conference on Food and Immigrant Life, New York, April 2013.

Presented the Jacob L. Martin Fellowship Address, "Changing the Way We Protect Refugees," at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., November 2012.

Presented the keynote address "Finding Global Solidarity in Refugee Law" at the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, Africa Chapter, Mombasa, Kenya, October 2012.

Presented "Moving Towards Meaningful Accountability Under the Refugee Convention" at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan Roundtable on the Future of Refugee Convention Supervision, Cambridge, September 2012.

Named the 2012 Jacob L. Martin Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, where he delivered the speech "Changing The Way We Protect Refugees," October 2012.

Gave keynote speech on the theme, "Making Resettlement Matter: The Global Imperative to Change the Way We Protect Refugees," during the conference on "Canada and Refugee Resettlement," Vancouver, June 2012.

Gave a guest lecture on reform of international refugee law and led a seminar for doctoral students engaged in refugee law research at Amsterdam Law School, The Netherlands, May 2012.

Led a two-day course on advanced refugee definition topics for members and staff of the Norweigan Immigration Appeals Board, Oslo, May 2012.

Gave a special seminar on cessation of refugee status to staff of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, Oslo, May 2012.

Addressed staff of UNHCR Headquarters on "Protection Elsewhere: What the Refugee Convention Allows (and Requires)," Geneva, May 2012.

Gave keynote address on "What is an Urban Refugee? And Does it Matter?" at UNHCR's Third Academic Network Seminar, Istanbul, May 2012.

Delivered a guest lecture entitled "Is the Dublin Regulation Really Legal?" at the Bogazici University Department of European Studies, Istanbul, Turkey, May 2012.

Delivered a two-day workshop on refugee rights to African human rights lawyers in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the sponsorship of Freedom House, Lawyers for Human Rights, and, with funding from USAID, May 2012.

Taught an intensive five-day Refugee Rights Workshop at the Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Australia, May 2012.

Served as a discussant on Prof. Monica Hakimi's article, "A Functional Approach to Targeting and Detention," at the Michigan Law Review Forum, April 2012.

Delivered a faculty seminar entitled "Saving International Refugee Law" at Queen’s University Faculty of Law Kingston, Ontario, October 2011.

Delivered a speech entitled "Queer Cases Make Bad Law" to the London Migration Research Group, London School of Economics and Political Science, October 2011.

Gave a two-day workshop on the law of refugee status for Queen's University Belfast and the Law Centre of Northern Ireland, Belfast, October 2011.

Guest lecturer addressing the question, "Is the Malaysia Solution Legal?", University of Melbourne Public Seminar, Melbourne, Australia, September 2011.

Gave the inaugural address on forced migration issues to the new summer school at Northwestern University, Chicago, July 2011.

Delivered inaugural address to the First Summer Institute of the Center for Forced Migration Studies, Northwestern University, Chicago, July 2011.

Delivered a three-day course on the refugee definition to all members and staff of the Refugee Commission, Malta Office of the Refugee Commissioner, Valletta, June 2011.

Presented "Saving International Refugee Law," Maltese Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs, celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, Valletta, June 2011.

Delivered a two-day training course to judges and administrative decision-makers sponsored by the Malta Office of the Refugee Commissioner in Valletta, Malta, June 2011.

Gave public speech entitled "Keeping Faith with the Refugee Convention" on the 60th Anniversary of the Refugee Convention, Trinity College Dublin, June 2011.

Presented "Keeping Faith with the Refugee Convention," Trinity College, Dublin, and the Irish Refugee Council, celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, Dublin, June 2011.

Presented keynote address, "Responsibility Sharing: What the Refugee Convention Requires (and Allows)," University of Amsterdam Law School Expert Seminar on Shared Responsibility in International Refugee Law, Amsterdam, May 2011.

Presented keynote address, "Rebuilding International Refugee Law: The Next Nordic Legacy?", Nordic Asylum Law Seminar, Copenhagen, May 2011.

Presented "Why the Dublin Regulation is Illegal," Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, May 2011.

Presented "Common Principles for Advancing a Refugee Protection Framework," Non-Governmental Workshop on the Future of Asylum Law in Nepal, and, on behalf of the UNHCR, chaired a national consultation of non-governmental organizations to achieve consensus on a model refugee law for presentation to the Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2011.

Presented "Accession, Domestication, or a Continued Legal Patchwork: Thoughts on Nepal's Future Legal Relationship to Refugees, Tribhuvan University and Nepal Bar Association, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2011.

Presented "Learning from the Protection of Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal," UNHCR Community Forum, Chandragadi, Nepal, May 2011.

Taught an intensive LLM course, International Refugee Law: Refugee Status, Melbourne Law School, May 2011.

Presented "Why Refugee Law is the Best," Melbourne Law School Guest Lecture Series, Melbourne, May 2011.

Presented keynote address, "Saving International Refugee Law," Research Workshop on Critical Issues in International Refugee Law, York University Centre for Refugee Studies, Toronto, April 2011.

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