Pioneer in refugee law returns to U-M

Michigan Law’s Program in Asylum and Refugee Law is poised to expand its leadership role with the return to the program this fall of its founder, Prof. James C. Hathaway.
Hathaway returns to Ann Arbor after a leave during which he served as dean of Australia’s oldest law school, at the University of Melbourne.
There he undertook the task of instituting graduate-level legal training in a country where legal education has been conducted at the undergraduate level.
While helping the school make that transition, Hathaway said, he kept the Michigan Law model constantly in mind.
“I took the best of what Michigan does and transposed it to an environment that had never seen a law school remotely run on the Michigan Model,” Hathaway said.
Among the changes instituted at Melbourne during Hathaway’s deanship: a reorganized library drawing on the expertise of Michigan Law Librarian Margaret Leary, expanded career services and alumni affairs offices similar to those at Michigan and  establishment of a series of informal faculty lunches.
“What’s best about Michigan is its collegiality – the way people engage each other routinely across discipline areas,” Hathaway said. “One of the things I wanted to take to Melbourne was that spirit.
“The school was already the most research-intensive law school in Australia, with a dozen organized research units. I wanted to create a means for colleagues in a very large faculty regularly to hear about and contribute to each other’s research.”
During Hathaway’s absence, the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law was directed by Prof. Penelope Mathew, herself a prominent expert in refugee and asylum law who came to Michigan from the Australian National University College of Law.
“Jim’s return to Michigan Law marks an important moment as we continue our commitment to a dynamic and influential refugee law program,” said Michigan Law Dean Evan Caminker. “We’re eager to welcome Jim back to Ann Arbor, in part because the continuing success of our Program in Refugee and Asylum Law is such an integral part of our strong international law offerings, and in part because we look forward to his continuing creativity in the program he founded.”


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