James C. Hathaway is the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. He works in the field of public international law, with a focus on international human rights law, international queer rights, and international refugee law. Prior to his retirement from the teaching faculty in 2022, Professor Hathaway served as the founding director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan from 1998 to 2022.
From 2008 until 2010, Professor Hathaway was on leave from the University of Michigan to serve as the dean of law and William Hearn Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, where he established Australia’s first all-graduate legal education program. He previously held positions as professor of law and associate dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto from1984 to1998, counsel on special legal assistance for the disadvantaged to the Government of Canada from 1983 to1984, and professeur adjoint de droit at the Université de Moncton, Canada, from 1980 to 1983. He has been appointed a visiting professor or scholar at the American University in Cairo, the University of California, the University of Macerata, the University of San Francisco, Stanford University, the University of Tokyo, the University of Toronto, and Torcuato di Tella University. He was the Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam from 2010 to 2022.
Professor Hathaway’s publications include more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and studies; a leading treatise on the refugee definition (The Law of Refugee Status, second edition 2014 with M. Foster; first edition 1991, republished in Russian in 2007 and Japanese in 2008); and an interdisciplinary study of models for refugee law reform (Reconceiving International Refugee Law, 1997). He is the author of The Rights of Refugees under International Law (Cambridge University Press, second edition 2021; first edition republished in Japanese in 2014 and Chinese in 2017), the first comprehensive analysis of the human rights of refugees set by the UN Refugee Convention and the International Bill of Rights. He is the founding editor of Cambridge Asylum and Migration Studies.
Professor Hathaway regularly advises and provides training to academic, nongovernmental, and official audiences around the world. He holds doctoral degrees honoris causa from the Université catholique de Louvain (2009) and the University of Amsterdam (2017).
- International and Comparative Law