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James C. Hathaway

James C. Hathaway

Visiting Professor

Not in residence


James C. Hathaway 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 the University of Michigan's Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam, and Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. Prof. Hathaway was on leave from 2008 to 2010 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, 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 more than 70 journal articles, a leading treatise on the refugee definition (The Law of Refugee Status, 1991; second edition forthcoming in 2013), an interdisciplinary study of models for refugee law reform (Reconceiving International Refugee Law, 1997) andThe Rights of Refugees under International Law (2005), winner of the American Society of International Law's Certificate of Merit. He is counsel on international protection to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and founding patron of Asylum Access, a nonprofit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South. Prof. Hathaway sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Refugee Studies and of the Immigration and Nationality Law Reports and directs the Refugee Caselaw Site(, a website that collects, indexes, and publishes leading judgments on refugee law from around the world.